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New Pedestrian Bridge Has Quite a Drop

Span in Portugal, suspended over canyon, may be world's longest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 2, 2021 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's probably best if you gird yourself before you look down from the Arouca Bridge. The narrow footbridge suspended across a river canyon in northern Portugal claims to be the world’s longest pedestrian bridge and was officially inaugurated Sunday, per the AP. The Arouca Bridge offers a nearly 1,700-foot walk across its span, along a metal walkway suspended from cables. Some 574 feet below, the Paiva River flows through a waterfall. Arouca lies 186 miles north of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. Local residents got a first walk on the bridge last week. Many were thrilled—even as some admitted it was a little unnerving to feel so high up and exposed.

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Guinness World Records says on its website that the world's longest suspension bridge for pedestrians is Japan’s Kokonoe Yume Bridge, which opened in 2006 and spans 1,280 feet. But the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, which opened in the Swiss Alps in 2017, challenges that mark at 1,621 feet. No word on when Guinness might certify the Arouca Bridge, which cost $2.8 million to build. Children under age 6 are not allowed on it and all visits will be accompanied by guides.

(Read more bridges stories.)

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