ES Puente del Milenio | GL Ponte do Milenio
In 1998 the Old Bridge was definitively closed to car traffic. The following year the City Council laid the foundation stone of this bridge, which would be inaugurated on September 1st, 2001 after 28 months of works. Its opening meant not only a considerable relief to city traffic, but immediately became a symbol of contemporary Ourense, the moving city that overlooks the new millennium.
A work of markedly avant-garde aesthetics, its was designed by architect Álvaro Varela, and executed by engineer Juan M. Calvo. It features an unique elliptical shape, being especially curious its pedestrian walkway that rises 22 metres, leading to extraordinary viewpoints over river Minho and granting the bridge an exclusive character, enhanced by its spectacular night lighting.
The spectacular footbridge that goes up to heaven and down to the river is distributed in a hundred steps, a challenge that rewards walkers with stunning views.
Its most important feature is its length (275 m.), along with its systems of matched steel straps and the central span of 36 metres. Made of concrete and steel, it has four lanes, two in each direction, in addition to the sidewalks reserved for pedestrians. The bridge descends slightly in the south, while turning to the east.
As a curiosity, note that its construction created a curious wave in the waters of river Minho, the Millennium Wave, which has since been used to water sports.