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Madeira - Europa 2018

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About Madeira - Europa 2018

The Roman bridge of Trajan is a stone construction that rises from the Tâmega river, in the centre of Chaves, formed with robust granite voussoirs that form 12 perfectly rounded arches. Built between the end of the rst century and the beginning of the second century AD, it served as access to the city until the 1950’s. Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, emperor of Rome, would thus inscribe his name into the history of Aqua Flaviae, at the time an important town endowed with a thermal complex and excellent road structures. This span, which is the oldest bridge in Portugal, ex-libris of the modern city of Chaves, still functions as a pedestrian crossing.

Inaugurated in 1998, the Vasco da Gama Bridge is a symbol of contemporary Portugal and a milestone of civil engineering. It crosses the Tagus on a 12.3-kilometre- -long route, joining the south bank of the Tagus to the Parque das Nações at the easternmost part of Lisbon. Its length made it necessary to consider the curvature of the planet in order to avoid an 80 centimetres deviation at the extremities. Some of the foundations are 2.2 metres in diameter and are embedded 95 metres below mean sea level. It is robust and was built to withstand violent earthquakes and winds of 250 km/h. The deck is a mixed structure composed of concrete slabs laying on steel crossbeams. 62 thousand cars cross the bridge every day.

In Matriz parish in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, in the north of the island of São Miguel in the Azores, the Bridge of Eight Arches stands out in the landscape. Built between 1888 and 1895, it is an imposing structure of stone masonry that rises to 20 metres. At its highest point, broad views of the sea and the city centre can be enjoyed. True to its name, it was erected on eight fully-rounded arches. It is considered one of the greatest Azorean roadworks of the nineteenth century, under the responsibility of the military engineer António Augusto de Sousa e Silva. Inscribed on the coat of arms of that northern municipality, it is also known as the Ribeira Grande Bridge.

Designed to cross one of the most impressive valleys in the north-eastern zone of São Miguel, which is very deep and rugged, the Despe-te-que-suas Bridge is the longest and highest bridge in the Azores archipelago: it measures 385 metres and is 160 metres above the water line.

Since 2011, the viaduct has served the Algarvia/Nordeste stretch of the island’s SCUT (toll-free motorway) concession, bringing together previously isolated populations. The deck is structured on a continuous and monolithic box girder with the pillars. It owes its unique name, which translates to something akin to “take your clothes o , otherwise you will sweat” to the local stream, once so named for the redoubled e ort required of those who travelled along the steep slope it now crosses.

The Ribeira da Metade Bridge is a stone masonry construction that connects two parishes of Santana municipality, in the north-east of the island of Madeira: Faial and São Roque do Faial, a small area located at the base of the central mountainous massif. In geographically rugged territories, the construction of bridges is historically associated with the improvement of the living conditions of the populations. Ensuring access from Funchal to the north of Madeira, the bridge over the Metade Stream dates back to the 1940s. It maintains the original design today.

High mountains, deep valleys and steep slopes mark the relief of the island of Madeira. The Socorridos Bridge, in the municipality of Câmara de Lobos, is a modern and lofty structure designed to unite what nature so completely separated. Opened to the public in 1993, it was the rst cable-stayed bridge with axial suspension built in the country, a project signed by Armando Pereira and António Reis. The 120-metre- -high pillars stand out in the landscape of the picturesque shing village, a few kilometres from Funchal. The deck is a prestressed single-layer concrete box.

Maria do Céu Novais