Red, high and impressive. That’s the 2 mile long bridge over the Tagus river. Ponte 25 de Abril bridge has been designed by the same architect who drew the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
Although the bridge looks red, the color is actually ‘International Orange’. This color is often used in the aircraft industry. The bridge connects the city of Lisbon with Almada.
This bridge was constructed under the rule of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, and at the opening in 1966 it also got its initial name: Ponte Salazar. 8 Years later, on the day of the Carnation Revolution on April 25, 1974, the bridge was officially renamed Ponte 25 de Abril. Until 1966 it was only possible to go with the ferry from and to Lisbon from the south.
I always find the bridge very impressive and I usually get a bit nervous if we decide to go south, to the other side of the Tagus. The bridge is very high (70 meters) and in strong winds the bridge can even start rocking back and forth a bit. Not only does this make it exciting, the bridge has been extended with lanes over the years. At the opening in 1966 it had 2 × 2 lanes, currently it has 2 × 3 lanes.
The new left-hand lanes don’t have tarmac because of the load-bearing capacity, you’ll be driving on steel grids. Personally, I don’t think that is the best material to drive on, so I always keep driving as far to the right as possible.
Great view over the city
Every day around 150000 vehicles cross the bridge. It offers a beautiful view of the city, Almada, Monumento Cristo Rei and the Tagus river. If you want to enjoy this view for an extra long time, make sure you start driving in rush hour. You’re guaranteed to be in a traffic jam here
In 1998 the Vasco da Gama bridge was opened on the east side of Lisbon, to relieve the bridge of the many vehicles that pass annually.
Ponte 25 de Abril by train
It is also possible to make the crossing of the Tagus on this bridge by train, from the Santa Polónia and Estação do Oriente train stations to the south. There is a railway under the roadway of the bridge.
Ponte 25 de Abril is a toll bridge. For a car you pay € 3.85 (just over £3 March 2018). The toll booth is on the south side of the bridge.