25th of April Bridge
The bridge that connects Lisbon to Almada is one of the most important and emblematic national infrastructures. Inaugurated in 1966, after almost four years of construction, it was initially named after Salazar, but with the fall of the regime in 1974, it was renamed the 25th of April Bridge, in tribute to the revolution and the freedom achieved.
An international contest was opened in 1960 for its construction and was awarded to the American company United States Steel Products, which had already submitted a proposal in 1938. However, the desire to connect the two banks is older, with records of it dating back to 1876.
Today an important point of access to the city of Lisbon for those coming from the south of the country, the 25th of April Bridge did not always have six lanes, although these were planned from the beginning, as well as the passage of the train. It was only in 1999 that the bridge was expanded, both in the number of road lanes (now having three lanes in each direction) and the addition of the lower deck, with two railway lines – two very important moments meant to reduce traffic, although rush hour can still be difficult. According to Infrastructures of Portugal, around 160,000 cars and 174 trains cross the bridge every day. On hot weekends, there is an even bigger chance for traffic jam, as the 25th of April Bridge is the best way to reach the beaches of Costa da Caparica.
Opening of 25th of April Bridge
Enlargement of the 25th of Abril Bridge
Bridge length meters
A symbol of Lisbon, classified as a national monument, the 25th of April Bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA, partly because both are red, but also because of the similarities of their towers. Made of a suspended metal structure, the 25th of April Bridge is 2,277 meters long and stands almost 200 meters above the water level. Unlike the San Francisco bridge, it is not possible to walk or cycle across the 25th of April Bridge. However, it is possible to climb up to the road deck of the bridge, 80 meters high.
In 2016, on the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the bridge, the Interpretive Center of the 25th of April Bridge – Pilar 7 Experience was inaugurated. The name as it suggests: inside pillar seven (and the bridge has 14), there is a sensory experience about the history and engineering of the monument. Here, it is possible to see the original model of the bridge up close or the main anchorages of the suspension cables, illuminated as an artistic installation. But the most surprising is the viewpoint, right next to the cars, partially made of glass, almost like being in a suspended aquarium, capable of scaring the less adventurous. There is also a virtual reality experience that accompanies maintenance technicians to the highest point of the 25th of April Bridge.
If you are into running, know that there is always at least one day a year when the bridge closes to traffic. It happens during the Lisbon Half Marathon and anyone can sign up.”