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World's longest pedestrian suspension bridge opening in Portugal
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World's longest pedestrian suspension bridge opening in Portugal

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Longest pedestrian suspension bridge

The world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge is opening in Portugal.

AROUCA, Portugal — It takes about 10 minutes to cross if you're taking in the panoramic views of the waterfall, the gorge and the fast-moving river seen through the open grid beneath your feet.

Four if you're saying your prayers and making a dash for it.

The world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge is set to open in Portugal this fall, and if you're not in one of the countries currently able to visit, that just gives you more time to build up your nerve. An official opening date hasn't been announced yet, nor ticket prices.

516 Arouca, so called because it's 516 meters long and is in the town of Arouca, an hour south of Porto, will connect Aguieiras Waterfall and Paiva Gorge and is the latest adventure offering in the Arouca Geopark, known for its extreme sports.

Check out a video of the bridge here:

It's a Tibetan-style hanging bridge, held up by steel cables and two huge V-shaped towers, and is 1,692 in feet. The River Paiva flows 176 meters (576 feet) below the pathway's three-foot-wide open metal grid. The railings are rigid netting, while the deck is constructed of 127 four-meter-long modules.

Designed by Portuguese studio Itecons, it took three years to build, with construction completed in July 2020.

Arouca 516 has taken the title of longest pedestrian suspension bridge from the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland, which spans 1,621 feet and opened in 2017. That bridge boasts views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and Bernese Alps.

The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States is the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which stretches 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains.

It opened in May 2019, but was shut down briefly in June this year after a reckless visitor tried a baseball-style slide across the glass panels, cracking the floor.

The world's tallest glass-bottomed suspension bridge is Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China, which allows visitors to bungee jump off its 853-foot-high platform.

Here are some photos of bridges from around the world from Lee Enterprises' Destinations Photo Contest Spotlight: 


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