Hugo Xavier was one of the first people to cross the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Near his small town of Aroca in northern Portugal, he stands on the joining platform on the metal grid of the 516-meter-long bridge – and gathers his courage. The fast flowing Paiva River glistens 175 meters down. “Oh … here we go,” said the 42-year-old as he enters the building with his equally trembling partner and a tour guide.
Named the 16 516 Aroka name, the bridge is hidden between the hills covered with lush greenery and yellow flowers at the UNESCO-recognized Aroca Geopark, about 60 kilometers southeast of Porto. On Thursday it was only open to residents and anyone can register attendance from Monday. The Laddu path, led by steel cables and two majestic towers on each side, moves a little at each step. “I was a little scared, but it was worth it,” says a relaxed Xavier on the other hand. “It’s extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush.”
The »516 Arooka cost about 2.3 million euros and took two years to build. Locals believe the attraction will help revitalize the area, especially after the devastating Govt-19 epidemic. “This is a breath of fresh air for our country because it will attract more investment and more people,” said tour guide Emanuel, adding that the region is aging fast as many young people move to larger cities. “It will bring a new dynamic to Aroca.”
The bridge is part of a larger strategy and encourages more people to go and stay in the area, says Aruca Mayor Margarita Belem. “There were many challenges we had to overcome. But we did it,” he told Reuters. “There is no other bridge in the world like this.”
By far, the Charles Guonan Bridge near Randa in the Swiss Alps holds the record for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. The 494-meter-long, 85-meter-high structure in the eastern part of Matertel opened at the end of July 2017. The Titan RT went for a while in front of the Swiss Bridge Saxony-Unhold Title: The 483-meter-long rope bridge hangs next to Rapotottolsper Horse And released in May 2017.