Vasco da Gama Bridge

Vasco da Gama Bridge ( Portuguese: Ponte Vasco da Gama ) is located in the north of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It crosses the Tagus River.

The bridge is 7.7 mi (12.3 km) long and the Longest span is 1378 ft (420 m ). The bridge has a dedicated passage of 4.8 kilometers (3.0 miles).

It total cost US $1.1 billion.

Vasco da Gama Bridge
Vasco da Gama Bridge


The Vasco da Gama Bridge was established to ease traffic congestion on the 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon and eliminate the need for traffic through the capital between the northern and southern regions of Portugal.

In February 1995, the Vasco da Gama Bridge began construction.

The bridge was opened to traffic on March 29, 1998, which coincided with the holding of the 98th World Expo, which celebrated the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the route from Europe to India.

Bridge Express

The bridge has 6 lanes and the speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph), which is the same as the highway, but the speed limit for a section of the road is 100 km/h (60 mph). In windy, rainy and foggy days, the speed limit will be reduced to 90 km/h (56 mph). When the average daily traffic volume reaches 52,000, the number of lanes will increase to 8.

Vasco da Gama Bridge aerial view
Vasco da Gama Bridge aerial view

Bridges and passage sections

  • North Passage: 945 m (3,100 ft)
  • North viaduct: 488 m (1601 ft)
  • Expo viaduct: 672 m (2,205 ft); 12 sections
  • Main bridge: main span: 420 m (1,378 ft); side span: 203 m (666 ft) each (total length: 829 m or 2,720 ft); concrete pillar: height 150 m (492 ft); freedom of navigation during high tide Height: 45 m (148 ft);
  • Central viaduct: 6.351 kilometers (3.95 miles); 80 prefabricated sections, 78 m (256 ft) long; 81 pillars with a maximum depth of 95 m (312 ft); height from 14 m (46 ft) to 30 m (98 ft)
  • South Viaduct: 3.825 km (2.38 miles); 45 m (148 ft) cross-section; 84 sections; 85 pillars
  • South Passage: 3.895 km (2.42 miles); including toll plaza (18 gates) and two service areas
Vasco da Gama Bridge at night
Vasco da Gama Bridge at night

Construction and cost

The $1.1 billion project is divided into four parts, each part built by another company and supervised by an independent consortium.

The project has as many as 3,300 workers at the same time, which took 18 months of preparation time and 18 months of construction time. The funding was carried out by the private consortium Lusoponte through the build-operate-transfer system, which received tolls for the first 40 years of the two Lisbon bridges.

Lusoponte’s capital comes from 50.4% of Portuguese companies, 24.8% of France and 24.8% of Britain.

The bridge has a lifespan of 120 years. Its designed to withstand wind speeds of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour) and accommodate earthquakes are 4.5 times stronger than historically. The Lisbon earthquake in 1755 (estimated at a time of 8.5-9.0) level).

At average sea level, the deepest foundation pile (with a maximum diameter of 2.2 m (7.2 ft)) is pressed down to 95 m (312 ft).

The environmental pressure of the entire project caused the left bank viaduct to extend inward to protect the swamp below, and the lamppost of the entire bridge tilted inward to avoid casting light on the river below.


Northbound (to Lisbon) transportation is charged, and southbound is free. Tolls are collected through the toll plaza on the south bank of Tagus near Montijo. As of 2020, the tax will range from 2.85 Euro (for passenger cars) to 12.20 Euro (for trucks).

Driving on Vasco da Gama Bridge
Driving on Vasco da Gama Bridge

Vasco da Gama Bridge Data

Western Europe
In use
Official name
Ponte Vasco da Gama
Sacavém, north of Lisbon (right/north bank) Alcochete and Montijo (left/south bank)
Portuguese Republic
Armando Rito
US $1.1 billion
Design life
Feb, 1995
Construction end
Mar, 1998
Mar-29, 1998
Total length
7.7 mi ( 12.3 km )
486 ft ( 148 m )
98 ft ( 30 m )
Longest span
1378 ft ( 420 m )
Northbound: €2.85–€12.20 Southbound: toll free
Design speed
120 km / h
Road scale
6 lanes
Tagus River

Vasco da Gama Bridge Location On Earth

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