Footbridge over the Douro river
Câmara Municipal do Porto
The northern Portuguese cities of Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia are built on the north and south banks of the river Douro – together they make up the urban area often called “Grande Porto”. Historically the parts of the cities on the riverside acted as port areas, hence the name Oporto, “the port” in Portuguese. On the Gaia side these port activities were mainly for the famous port wine produced in wine lodges that are still situated there. These historical areas nowadays attract many visitors with the only pedestrian link being provided by the lower level of the King Luiz I Bridge. Designed by the French engineer Théophile Seyrig, and completed in 1886, the continual presence of heavy traffic now makes the use of the narrow walkway hazardous.
The new bridge is a shallow arch spanning 156m and rising 12m. The arch is a variable shaped tube made from stainless steel with a composite steel and concrete deck. Over the centre section the deck forms part of the arch tube but at the ends it continues as a separate structure. It is proposed that the arch structure is fabricated “off site” and is floated into position.