Portugal Bridges 90 to 100 meters
The highest bridge in Portugal at the time of its completion in 1987, the Coa bridge (97 meters high) crosses the Coa River just 5 miles (8 kms) west of the border with Spain near Vilar Formoso. The bridge is unique for having rectangular shaped polygonal piers with square shaped mushroom caps that support simple drop-in spans. A parallel viaduct was completed around 2008.
The highest bridge located within the Lisbon city region, the Loureiro Viaduct (92 meters high) carries 6 lanes of traffic plus two shoulders across 5 prestressed concrete spans of 328 feet (100 mtrs) along with nearly a dozen approach spans. The piers are well shaped with the mass being reduced by a split in the pier two thirds of the way up. Located near Loureiro, the bridge was completed in 2003.
Located just a mile or south of Peso da Régua on the IP3 / A24, the Ponte Varosa (90 meters high) is a prestressed concreted beam bridge with two main spans of 328 feet (100 mtrs). Just another mile further south is Varosa’s near twin, the Ponte Balsemão (90 meters high). Since the Balsemão is upstream from the Varosa dam, the deck is only about 75 meters above a full reservoir. The two main spans are also 328 feet (100 mtrs).
A simple 6-span prestressed beam bridge, the Ponte Ribeira de Alge (90 meters high) is the second of two towering bridges on Portugal’s IC8 highway. Located just west of Aldeia da Cruz and completed in 1993, the maximum span is 207 feet (63 mtrs). Portugal’s highest bridge ever, the Ponte Pedrógão Grande over the Rio Zêzere is located just 10 miles (16 kms) to the east and stands 492 feet (150 mtrs) high.
Completed in 2008 near Vila Pouca De Aguiar (90 meters high), this huge viaduct of the same name carries the IP3 / A24 across a wide valley on five main spans of approximately 427 feet (130 mtrs).
The Ponte Miguel Torga or Ponte Régua over the Rio Douro (85 meters high) is a nearly perfect prestressed concrete beam bridge with large piers that are grandiose and boastful with a curvy outer layer that tapers out at the top and bottom and appears removed from the concrete box girder it is supporting. With so many bridges vying for attention at the Peso da Régua waterfront, it was understandable that even the new IP3 / A24 crossing would have to be special. As the bridge crosses south over the Douro River, the spans become progressively larger with the last river span measuring 591 feet (180 mtrs) between piers.
High bridge fans should also take note of the equally high viaducts called the Corgo, Varosa and Balsemao just a mile north and south of the Régua bridge on the IP3 / A24.
A 5-span prestressed twin viaduct, the Ponte Rio Corgo (80 meters high) is on the new IP3 / A24 motorway in Portugal. The viaduct has a curving radius of 1,640 feet (500 mtrs) and 3 main spans of 476 feet (145 mtrs).