25 de Abril Bridge (1966) Lisbon, Portugal

The Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge) is a steel suspension bridge across the Tagus River in Lisbon, capital of Portugal, connecting the city with the municipality of Almada. Reminiscent in design and colouring to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, it was inaugurated in 1966. At almost 2,280m (7,480 ft) long it ranks as the 23rd largest suspension bridge in the world.

Proposals for a bridge over the Tagus date from the late 19th century but it was not until 1958 that the location was chosen and the project went to tender. A consortium led by the United States Steel Export Company (New York) was the successful bidder and construction began in November 1962.

The design was based on the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge which was constructed by the same company. The bridge has a central span of 1,013m (3,323 ft) and two lateral spans of 483m (1,585 ft) each. On the northern side there are two end spans with just one on the southern side. Each measures approximately 100m (328 ft). The two main towers are 190m (623 ft) tall and the drop from deck to water is 70m. The bridge connects to a 945m (3,100 ft) long viaduct on its northern side.

Image of 25 de Abril Bridge (1966)

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon, Portugal

© By Vitor Oliveira from PORTUGAL [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The bridge was completed 6 months ahead of schedule and was opened to traffic in August 1966. It originally carried four lanes of traffic but this was expanded to five and eventually six in 1998. A rail line which had been part of the original design but omitted to save money was eventually added to the lower platform in 1999. The United States Steel Export Company again carried out the work, which involved strengthening of the suspension cables.

When it was first inaugurated the bridge was named Ponte Salazar in honour of the then Prime Minister and Dictator of Portugal, Dr. António de Oliveira Salazar. Following the Carnation Revolution in 1974 the bridge was renamed Ponte 25 de Abril after the day on which the revolution had taken place.

Links: Wikipedia | Lisbon Traffic - 25 de Abril Bridge