Portimão’s old bridge closes this weekend  .jpg

Portimão’s old bridge closes this weekend  


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PORTIMÃO’S OLD bridge, known as the ‘ponte velha de Portimão’, connecting the city to Parchal village is closing tomorrow for renovation works.

The plan was officially announced this week by Estradas de Portugal (EP), the state owned company that manages the country’s roads and bridges, after recent inspections concluded the urgent need forof renovation work on the structure in order to prevent potential accidents.

During a meeting held on Wednesday (November 7) between the Portimão Câmara President and a team from Estradas de Portugal,

the two entities discussed the alternatives fortraffic entering the city during the period in which the works are being carried out.

The bridge is planned to be closed from midnight on November 10 until the second trimester of 2009, but only for cars. Pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles will be allowed to cross it during the works.

Entrance to the city for heavy vehicles will be re-directed to the Alvor/Penina access and not allowed at the EN125 exit near the Barlavento hospital.

The Portimão bridge was built in 1876 by the company Five Lille and has been monitored since 2001, after the fall of the Entre-os-Rios bridge, near Porto, where 59 people lost their lives.


After an inspection to the bridge in 2004 concluded that its state was critical, inspections on the pillars, metallic structures and foundations were intensified by

Estradas de Portugal.

The purpose of this monitoring programme has been to check on any eventual changes to the structure due to currents and tides in the Arade River.

However, after an inspection report was revealed by a weekly newspaper last week, denouncing the imminent danger of that crossing, Estradas de Portugal was forced to speed up the intervention.

The metal bridge of Portimão is the oldest of three serving the intense traffic that goes in and out of the city every day. Its closure, even if temporary, is expected to redirect about 8,000 vehicles daily to the remaining entrances to Portimão, already suffering from severe traffic congestion, the A-22 and the EN-125.

The bridge is ranked among the country’s artistic monuments that are controlled by Estradas de Portugal, through its department of Special Structures and Works of Art.

To know more about the renovations works to be carried out on Portimão’s old bridge, please visit http://www.estradasdeportugal.pt/site/v3/. Be aware this website is only in Portuguese. For information about the traffic changes in Portimão, please contact the local Câmara at 282 470 300.

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