The Vasco da Gama Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Vasco da Gama) is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and rangeviews that spans the Tagus River near Lisbon, capital of Portugal. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi), including 0.829 km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5 km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congestion on Lisbon’s other bridge (25 de Abril Bridge), and to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon.
The bridge was opened to traffic on 29 March 1998, 18 months after construction first began, just in time for Expo 98, the World’s Fair that celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery by Vasco da Gama of the sea route from Europe to India.
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