Juscelino Kubitschek bridge

The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, is a steel and concrete bridge that crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília. It links the southern part of the lake, and St. Sebastian Paranoá the Pilot Plan (or the central and original part of the city), through the Monumental Axis. Inaugurated on December 15, 2002, the structure of the bridge has a total length of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), a width of 24 metres (79 ft) and two carriageways with three lanes in each direction, two walkways on the sides for cyclists and pedestrians 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide, and three spans of 240 metres (790 ft).

It is named for Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, former president of Brazil, who in the late 1950s decided to build Brasília as the new capital of the country. It was designed by architect Alexandre Chan and structural engineer Mário Vila Verde.

The main span structure has four supporting pillars submerged under Lake Paranoá, and the deck weight is supported by three 200-foot-tall (61 m) asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross diagonally. The decks are suspended by steel cables alternating at each side of the deck, interlacing in some kind of twisted plane (parabolic like). The entire structure has a total length of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), and it was completed at a cost of US$56.8 million (R$160 million - Brazilian Reais, current 2003). The bridge has a pedestrian walkway and is accessible to bicyclists and skaters.


Despite the structural design complexity and the higher cost of the chosen solution, these characteristics give the bridge a great architectonical beauty and grandiosity, up to the level of Brasilia’s majestic scale. Inaugurated on December 15, 2002, this bridge immediately became one more of Brasilia’s favorite landmarks, especially at night. Chan won the Gustav Lindenthal Medal for this project at the 2003 International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh. This medal is awarded "for a single, recent outstanding achievement showing harmony with the environment, aesthetic merit and successful community participation".

This bridge was also awarded the "Premio Abcem 2003" (ABCEM Award) – Best Steel Work of the Year, Bridges and Highway Overpasses Category, granted by the Brazilian Metal Construction Association (Associação Brasileira da Construção Metálica, ABCEM).

The bridge architectural design seems similar to a pedestrian walkway in the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium located at 35°05′25″N 136°52′47″E / 35.09028°N 136.87972°E / 35.09028; 136.87972. However architectural design also included structure shapes and solutions that step away from that footbridge.


The main characteristics of the structure are:

  • Total length: 1,200 m
  • Deck Width: 24 m (three lanes in each direction)
  • Lateral sideways for pedestrians and bicycles: 1.5 m (on each side)
  • Rise: 60 m
  • Clearance: 18 m
  • Arch span: 240 m for each of 3 spans

Building Activity

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    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com