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25th July 2009
Edition: 1020

Portimão’s ‘Old Bridge’ re-opens “on time and on budget”

Since November 2007 the closure of Portimão’s ‘Old Bridge’ has been an inconvenience for thousands of people who previously used it on a daily basis to commute between Lagoa and that city. July 15th 2009 was the original date set for its re-opening, and, as reported by The Portugal News last week, it has indeed re-opened on time and within budget.

It was confirmed earlier this week by Paula Ramos Chave, the head of Estradas de Portugal’s press department, who in a statement to The Portugal News said “Estradas de Portugal can confirm the work [on Portimão’s bridge] will be completed within the previously established deadline”.

She added “Traffic circulation will be possible in both directions, as before. It should be highlighted that traffic flows entering and exiting the bridge have been organised as instructed by the respective municipal authorities”.

Work on the iron structure was considered as urgent after checks were carried out in 2007. When cracks were spotted in the supporting pillars Estradas de Portugal was forced to close the bridge and reinforcement work began. It was closed immediately due to the serious deterioration and briefly re-opened for a two-month period last summer to provide temporary release for the heavy traffic the Algarve experiences during summer.

The total cost of the work, as confirmed by Estradas de Portugal, has been €3,800,000, exactly the original estimate.

To celebrate its reopening on July 15th a mega ‘Feijoada’ (Portuguese bean-stew) party was held at 18h00, on the bridge itself, which was open to all, before it was officially re-opened at 23h00. Invited to oversee the proceedings, which were organized by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications, in collaboration with the municipalities of Lagoa and Portimão (which are connected by the bridge) was State Adjunct-Secretary for Public Works and Communications, Paulo Campos.

Minister Campos was joined by the Mayors of Portimão and Lagoa, Manuel da Luz and Dr. José Inácio (respectively).

Twenty-five professional chefs were involved in preparing the massive meal, which entailed 12 giant pans, 450 kilos of squid, 100 kilos of dried beans, 80 kilos of chorizo, and 70 kilos of tomatoes, amongst other mammoth measures of ingredients.

More than two thousand people were expected at the event, for which 120 tables and 1,200 seats were made available, along with plates, cups, and disposable cutlery.

Edition: 1019   -   original still there?

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