The Tagus River Bridge or 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril) in Lisbon, Portugal, was built by the American Bridge Company, which won an international bid for its project and construction, associated with US Steel and some Portuguese firms.
The bridge opened to the Lisbon public on August 6, 1966, six months ahead of time, after two years of construction, for $32 million. It was originally named Salazar Bridge (after the then prime minister/dictator of Portugal, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar), but, after the Carnation Revolution, in 1974, the bridge was renamed the 25 April Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte 25 de Abril), the day when the revolution occurred. In an emblematic picture of the revolution, captured on film, populars removed the big "Salazar" brass sign and painted "25 April" in its place.
Its total length is 2,277 m, the main span measuring 1,013 m (17th largest suspension bridge in the world). The upper platform, situated 70 meters above water) started with 4 car lanes, two in each direction, with a dividing rail; this rail was removed and a fifth reversible lane was created; finally, the side walls were extended and reinforced to make way for the present six lanes.
Since 1999, the lower platform embodies a railroad line connecting Lisbon to the south, for which the bridge underwent extensive structural reinforcements, namely a second suspension cable, placed above the original. The train had been part of the initial project but it had been dropped and the initial structure was lightened.
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