The Rio-Antirrio Bridge (Greek: Γέφυρα Ρίου-Αντιρρίου), also known as the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to Antirrio on mainland Greece by road. It is one of the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and the longest fully suspended type.
As early as 1880, the then Prime Minister of Greece had the idea of building a bridge across the sea at the western end of the Gulf of Corinth. At its narrowest point, the Gulf of Corinth is about 2.5 kilometers wide and has a water depth of 65 meters. In addition, the current in Patras is very fast, and earthquakes and strong winds often break out, so the proposal to build a bridge here has been rejected many times.
Due to the many difficulties found, the Rion-Antilion bridge became a technically extremely interesting and very innovative building, the solutions of which were completely innovative. You can find out more facts about this bridge's incredible design and size here.
Description of the Rion-Antirion Bridge Size
In order to solve the problem of the transfer of athletes during the Olympic Games, Greece built the Rio-Antirio suspension bridge in 1998 and June 2004. The construction cost of the entire building was 771 million euros. It is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. The bridge is four-lane, and the driving time is about six minutes. Cars and buses have to pay different tolls. Construction companies will stop charging fees until 2039; then, the bridge will belong to the Greek state.
Since the bridge is located in a strong earthquake zone, very laborious measures were taken to ensure the safety of the high bridge during construction. Each pier is located on a foundation with a diameter of 90 meters, and each foundation consists of 200 steel columns 30 meters long inserted into the seabed. The bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes of magnitude seven, the collision of oil tankers with a gross registered tonnage of 180,000 tons, and winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
Dimensions of the Rion-Antirion Bridge
The bridge's total length is 2,883 meters, of which the main span across the sea is 2,252 meters long. There are 5 spans of 286 + 3 × 560 + 286 meters. The approach bridge from Rion is 392 meters long, and the approach bridge from Antirion is 239 meters long. The height of each tower is 160 meters above the sea and 65 meters underwater. At its highest point, the bridge deck is 27.2 meters wide, 2.82 meters thick, and 52 meters above the sea so that even large ships can pass through. The expansion joints of the Rion-Antilion bridge are the largest of any similar bridge.
|Total Length||2,883 m (9,450 ft)|
|Width||27.2 m (89 ft)|
|Height||160 m (525 ft)|
|Longest Span||560 m (1,840 ft)|
|Clearance Below||52 m (170.6 ft)|
The Rion-Antirion Bridge is considered to be a creation of extraordinary engineering. Before the Rion-Antirion Bridge was built, the only way to cross the Gulf of Corinth was by ferry. The opening of the five-spanned bridge significantly reduced the crossing time of the Gulf of Corinth to around five minutes from 45 minutes (by ferry). Currently, about 10,000 vehicles cross the bridge per day. After the bridge is completed, the owners of the ferry boats are compensated and can continue to operate. The toll of the ferry is half of the bridge, and it is a great way to enjoy the panoramic view of the bridge from the ferry.