Portugal opens 516-meter pedestrian suspension bridge, the world’s longest

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. anxiously / ˈæŋk ʃəs li / (adv.) – in a way that shows nervousness or worry

    I anxiously waited for my exam results.

  2. see-through / ˈsiˌθru / (adj.) – capable of letting someone see what’s behind or under it

    Some fabrics become see-through when wet.

  3. extraordinary / ɪkˈstrɔr dnˌɛr i / (adj.) – very different from what’s usual or normal

    I had an extraordinary dream last night. I could talk to animals and fly!

  4. adrenaline rush / əˈdrɛn l ɪn rʌʃ / (n.) – an intense feeling of excitement or sudden burst of energy

    Bungee jumping gives me an adrenaline rush.

  5. wobble / ˈwɒb əl / (v.) – to move side-to-side in an unsteady way

    The old table wobbled after the dog suddenly jumped on it.


Read the text below.

Hugo Xavier became one of the first people to cross the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge when it opened on April 29 near his tiny hometown of Arouca in northern Portugal.

“Oh … here we go!” the 42-year-old said anxiously as he gathered the courage to step onto the see-through metal grid pathway of the 516-meter-long bridge. He was with his partner and a tour guide.

The bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing Paiva River in Arouca Geopark.

“I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it,” a relieved Xavier said after he crossed the bridge. “It was extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush.”

The bridge is held up by steel cables and two massive towers on each side, and wobbles a little with every step. It cost €2.3 million (¥262 million) to build, and locals hope it will help revive the region, especially after the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The 516-meter-long bridge hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing Paiva River and wobbles a bit with every step. Would you like to cross it? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Xavier said that crossing the bridge was an adrenaline rush. What do you think are other good ways to get an adrenaline rush (ex. bungee jumping, whitewater rafting)? Do you enjoy them? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The bridge cost €2 million to build, and locals hope it will help revive the region. Do you think that money was well spent? In your opinion, will many people be willing to visit the region to see/cross the bridge? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do many people visit your country to see (ex. Sky Tree Tower, Mt. Fuji)? Do you think those things are worth the visit? Why or why not? Discuss.