César Gaviria Trujillo ViaductEdit profile
The César Gaviria Trujillo Viaduct (Spanish: Viaducto César Gaviria Trujillo) is a cable-stayed bridge connecting the neighboring cities of Pereira and Dosquebradas in Risaralda, Colombia. It is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in South America and, at the time of its completion in 1997, ranked 20th in the world.
The bridge has a total length of 440 meters, including a central span of 211 meters. There are four traffic lanes and two sidewalks, giving a total width of 26 meters. There are two towers that have a height of 56 meters above the deck, which in turn has a maximum height of 55 meters above the Otún River.
The bridge was built by a Brazilian and German consortium, with assistance from French and Portuguese firms. Construction of the bridge took three years and was completed in 1997, at a cost of US$58 million. Twelve workers died during the construction process.
The bridge has had a significant impact on reducing traffic congestion in the two cities. It reduced the travel time between them by up to 40 minutes, avoiding the need to descend to the bottom of the river valley. It also had an important regional effect, through improved transportation links between Manizales, Armenia and Pereira.
The bridge has become infamous as a site for suicides. From the time of its completion until July 2005, 88 people have ended their lives by jumping off the bridge, including people from neighboring departments who were attracted by the high and accessible structure. Two people have survived the fall, in one case by landing in a stand of guadua growing by the river. In a particularly shocking episode in 2003, a woman threw her 2-year-old daughter off the bridge before jumping to her own death with her 7-month-old daughter. But in 2008, the government of Pereira demanded the construction of some kind of barrier in the bredge's borders, and, since its construction, no one has jump off it, causing a relief on its worrying population.
The bridge is named after César Gaviria Trujillo, president of Colombia from 1990 and 1994, who was born in Pereira.