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The Rion - Antirion bridge is a masterpiece of engineering. To build this bridge, engineers had to take into account the following challenges: The bridge must be able to resist massive earthquakes because the bridge is located in a highly seismic zone. The bridge passes one of the most active fault lines in Europe. The bridge can handle a earthquake of 7.4 on the Richter scale. In addition, the bridge had to be built on unstable sand and gravel. And the bridge was built in a natural wind tunnel that delivers very strong winds. On top of that, the two parts on both sides of the bridge slide away from eachother.
The 2,880 meters (9,449 ft) long bridge, finished in 2004 is widely considered to be an engineering masterpiece. Its five-span four-pylon cable-stayed portion of length 2,252 meters is the world’s second longest cable-stayed deck; only the deck of the Millau Viaduct in France is longer (2,460 meters or 8,071 ft). Several solutions had to be applied to span the difficult site, including passing deep water, insecure materials for foundations, seismic activity, the probability of tsunamis, and the expansion of the Gulf of Corinth due to plate tectonics.
The bridge was finally inaugurated on August 7, 2004, a week before the opening of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens—and the Olympic torchbearers were the first to officially cross its length.
Linked themes: Monumental constructions
Rio Antirio Bridge: Challenging Earthquakes
World’s Longest Multi-span Cable-stayed Bridge: Rio Antirio