President Costa e Silva Bridge, commonly known as the Rio-Niteroi Bridge, is a box girder bridge located at Guanabara Bay, in the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and the municipality of Niterói. It is currently the longest prestressed concrete bridge in the southern hemisphere, and the sixth longest in the world. From its completion in 1974 until 1985 it was the world's second-longest bridge, second only to Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

History

The concept of its design dates back to 1875. In order to connect the two neighbouring towns, separated by the Guanabara Bay or an inland journey of more than 100 kilometers (62 mi), passing through the city of Mage. At the time it was intended to build a bridge and subsequently a tunnel.

In 1963 it has created a working group to study a project to build a road. On December 29, 1965, an executive committee was formed to take care of the final project of building a bridge.

The President Costa e Silva signed a decree on August 23 of 1968 Authorizing the project for the bridge, designed by Mario Andreazza Then Minister of Transport, under the management of whom the bridge was begun and completed.

Construction began symbolically on August 23, 1968, with the presence of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in their first and thus far only visit to Brazil, next to the minister Mario Andreazza. Actual work began in January, 1969, and it opened on March 4, 1974.

Its official name is the President Costa e Silva Bridge, in honor of the Brazilian President, Artur da Costa e Silva, who ordered its construction. "Rio-Niterói" started as a descriptive nickname that soon became better known than the official name. Today, hardly anyone refers to it by its official name.

The bridge was constructed by a pool of Brazilian construction firms. It is 13,290 m (8.25 mi) long – 8,836 m (5.49 miles) over water and the bridge's central span is 72 m (236.22 ft) high in order to allow the passage of hundreds of ships entering and leaving the bay every month. It carries140,000 vehicles daily, which pay a toll only when entering Niterói of 4.30 Brazilian real (as of August 2010), about US$2.45 or €1.95. It has 18 access points and eight overpasses.

Officially it is part of federal highway BR-101. Since June 1, 1995, it has been under the management of Ponte S.A., under a 20-year concession.

In the 2011 film, Fast Five, the Rio Niterio was featured in the film. The Puerto Rican bridge, Teodoro Moscoso, doubled for the bridge during the last moments of the film.


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