Facelift for Lisbon bridge

Lisbon’s April 25 Bridge is to undergo its first thorough inspection and overhaul in 10 years.

The inspection, which will include repair work and overall conservation, is expected to take 15 months, starting this summer.

The bridge, which brings around 150,000 cars in and out of the capital on a daily basis, will also undergo major reinforcement and adaptation work to receive the new TGV high-speed rail link train.

Estradas de Portugal (EP) approved the make-over project for one of Lisbon’s best-loved and most recognised landmarks back in January.

The highly technical engineering project was put out to public tender earlier this month.

Despite the project, the bridge is to remain open throughout August when work begins and 165,000 holidaymakers are expected to head for the Algarve.

The vice-president of EP, Eduardo Gomes, said in January that he did not anticipate any significant restrictions to traffic flow throughout the 15-month period.

However, there are likely to be some disruptions to and cancellations of suburban train services across the Tejo at night.

This is because the works will require the electric current that powers both the Fertagus and Comboios de Portugal (CP) trains to be switched off for security reasons.

The entire project, which will cost in the region of five million euros, is one of the most important public works schemes listed in the State Budget for 2010. Estradas de Portugal has a total budget for this year of 32 million euros to upkeep roads, rail networks, bridges and tunnels.