Mayors of Porto and Gaia advance with the seventh crossing in the Douro, to be built in four years. Chambers assume the cost of 12 million euros and the late bishop D. António Francisco dos Santos will name the new bridge.

The idea of building a new bridge on the Douro River connecting Porto and Gaia is not new and until now there were several studies with different locations and different characteristics. The location - Campanhã (Porto) and Areinho (Oliveira do Douro) - where a new crossing will be installed, announced yesterday by mayors Rui Moreira and Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, mayors of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, respectively, follows one of these projects, designed for years by engineer Adão da Fonseca, a professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto who has already signed on several national bridges, including Infante, in the Douro.

“The place chosen is the best. I see no alternative. When I did the study for Câmara de Gaia I concluded that it was ideal. It allows the requalification of two zones in both margins that need enhancement ”, told the engineer Adão da Fonseca, who says he has not been consulted but heard Rui Moreira, in the presentation of the project, highlighting the importance of his study to This new crossing will be at a low level, 250 meters long, between the São João and Freixo bridges. The costs will be 12 million euros, to be borne by both municipalities, with a four-year forecast for completion.

When he went off to study a bridge, Adam da Fonseca found that it was simple to perform in that place. “On the Porto side, the Campanhã area needs requalification and the space is good. It provided for a roundabout for the connection to the marginal Douro. In Gaia, in Areinho, a paradise zone, with beach and green area, we can have the same goall", he explained.

Listened to by DN, the mayor of Gaia revealed that these bases, launched even when Luís Filipe Menezes was mayor, served as a “starting point” for the current project. “This study by Professor Adão da Fonseca was taken into account. It was in fact the main inspiration because it was made by Porto's greatest connoisseur, the current Edgar Cardoso, ”said Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues.

The mayor explains that the need for a new crossing is evident. “The situation is chaotic. Arrábida Bridge was a regional crossing, not an urban bridge, and today it is saturated. The Freixo bridge was also conceived as a large intersection between motorways, a link from the A1. The Luis I Bridge was removed from a subway tray. Infante's left a lot to be desired in connection with the cities. Therefore, a new bridge makes sense, means a new growth pole, with advantages for residents, economic and tourist", he explained.

Rui Moreira said in the presentation at the Edgar Cardoso Laboratory that this new connection will allow to pursue the policy of articulated mobility between the two territories, which will proceed at a later stage by pedonalizing the lower deck of the Luis I Bridge and intervening at the Maria Pia Bridge ( currently disabled), making it passable to pedestrians and bicycles.

As the intervention area is outside protected heritage areas, Moreira stressed that, in addition to the need for no funding requests, the chambers are free to move forward. “We don't need to ask anything from the Minister for Infrastructure and we don't need the Ministry of Culture either.”

Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues informed DN that the specifications for the project, still to be elaborated, will take into account the coherence of the new structure with the current bridges. “The materials must respect the history of the Douro bridges, with cast iron and concrete being the main ones,” he said, considering the four-year lead time and the estimated cost of 12 million euros. The mayor also revealed that the crossing should have only two road lanes, one in each direction, plus the pedestrian and bicycle lanes.

This base pleases Adam of Fonseca. “It's important that you have a banner just for each side, and you don't even need a separator, in my opinion. A bridge like this should have the normal movement of a street. It will be urban", he said.

The engineer considers that his studies for other bridges should be considered in the future. “A pedestrian bridge next to Louis I makes sense. And a road crossing in Massarelos, at a low level, is also possible, ”he says, convinced that Porto and Gaia“ have to work together, although not being a single city form a single center ”. It's the big difference compared to Lisbon and the Tagus. “The two margins are very far apart, independent of each other.”

It has been announced that D. António Francisco dos Santos, the late bishop of Porto, will name the new bridge, and D. António Taipa, diocesan administrator, representing the Diocese of Porto, participated yesterday in the presentation of the project. For the mayor of Gaia, “it is the personality that best symbolizes the bridges between us. Make us bigger ”

Source: Jornal de Notícias


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