Opening of the 516 Arouca Bridge

Ponte 516 Arouca

It is 175 meters above the Paiva River, 516 meters long and is ready to receive 30 people simultaneously: the largest suspended pedestrian bridge in the world, “516 Arouca”, will have its pre-opening in October, says this Thursday , July 9, “Jornal de Notícias”, in a report on the spot.

At the end of the works, the newspaper reports that, on the new and record-breaking bridge in Arouca, each metal railing tray is a kind of capsule, designed to provide more safety to adventurers who will want to cover the 516 meters of the crossing.

The “516 Arouca” is so called because it is 516 meters long. The structure also has a span of about 480 meters and is 175 meters above the Paiva River. It is built next to Passadiços do Paiva, from where you can already see the construction that will certainly be one of the main tourist attractions in the Aveiro district.

The structure is co-financed by the PROVERE program, from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) North 2020. The cost of the work is around 1.7 million euros.

The new bridge, under construction since May 2018, is inspired by the Inca bridges that spanned the Andes mountain valleys. Last year, the municipality of Arouca described the bridge as “frighteningly beautiful”. It is close to Cascata das Aguieiras and Garganta do Paiva.

To cross it you will have to buy two types of tickets, the prices of which are not yet known. Just crossing the bridge will be cheaper than doing it in an integrated way on the Passadiços do Paiva route.

According to the mayor of Arouca, Margarida Belém, to NiT in 2019, the pedestrian bridge suspended over the Paiva river “is an essential tourist infrastructure to reinforce the tourist attractiveness of the municipality and its position in the nature tourism market”.

“Going through it will certainly be a remarkable and memorable experience”, he guarantees. “For those who have already done the Walkways, the bridge will be an excellent reason to return. Those who have not yet had the opportunity to travel, now have an additional reason to do so ”.

The famous walkways allow you to walk eight kilometers of an incredible stretch, on an untouched walk and surrounded by wild nature, on the left bank of the Paiva River, in an area known as Garganta do Paiva, municipality of Arouca, district of Aveiro.

Here, you will find whitewater, quartz crystals and several species endangered in Europe. It passes by the river beaches of Areinho and Espiunca, where you will find, between the two, Praia do Vau. It passes over suspension bridges, small lakes of water in the rocks, many shadows, nature in its purest state.

The departure is from Areinho – Espiunca, from where you will find, in front, almost nine kilometers, straight ahead. The pedestrian route is made in structures in pine wood, which are based on iron implanted in the rocks.

At the end of May, the Walkways reopened to the public after being closed since March 12 because of the new coronavirus. The route returned with new measures: to start, the daily capacity of the usual 2,000 visitors changed to 600. Thus, it is intended to guarantee a greater social distance between the visitors of the structure, whose timetable now foresees that the last entry is at 17 hours , one hour earlier than previously.

Access to the site is only made through prior purchase of the ticket on the website or in the Interactive Tourism Store. Upon arriving at Passadiços, visitors will have to authorize the measurement of their temperature and proceed with hand hygiene, being advised to be accompanied by a dispenser of alcohol gel for hand hygiene along the route.

To reduce the risk of contagion through surfaces, on a walk that can last up to several hours depending on the pace of walking and the frequency of stops, the municipality also advises that when possible try to “avoid supporting the handrails” existing throughout the structure.

in NIT (