High wires: Portugal opens world’s longest suspension footbridge

high wires portugal opens worlds longest suspension footbridge

The local mayor is hoping to pull in the tourists, but crossing the longest suspended pedestrian bridge in the world will test anyone’s head for heights when it opens officially in northern Portugal on Sunday.

It hangs on heavy steel cables strung between V-shaped concrete towers and runs 516 metres (1700 feet) across a canyon, at a height of 175 metres.

Before Sunday’s official ceremony, people from the nearby town of Arouca were allowed to walk over the mega structure’s see-through metal grids on Thursday.

Rui Brandao prefers not to look down but recommended the experience.

“I strongly advise you to come even if like me you have vertigo,” he said.

“I have to say I haven’t felt it at all,” he claimed.

“The inauguration is important because it will enable us to resume our tourist activities,” Arouca mayor Margarida Belem told AFPTV.

The bridge was a “fundamental attraction” for the region, the mayor said.

The structure baptised “516 Arouca” crosses the steep Paiva river gorge, which is already strung with some eight kilometres (five miles) of wooden walkways…

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