When building bridges, engineers and architects don’t always look for the shortest possible crossing. The new ring-shaped bridge across Laguna Garzon in Uruguay's southern coast is such an example.
The concrete structure consist of two semi-circular bridges, joined at either end to create a ring, and was built to replace a raft crossing between the cities of Rocha and Maldonado. On the bridge’s unusual circular design, its architect Rafael Viñoly has a perfectly logical and functional explanation: the curved design will force drivers to slow down the speed of their cars while also prove an opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views of this amazing landscape. The bridge also has a pair of pedestrian walkways.
Before the bridge was built, the raft crossing allowed only two cars to cross at a time. The raft operated only at certain times of the day, and during windy or stormy days it remained closed. The poor connection has kept the region of Rocha away from further developments compared to what Maldonado has been experiencing in the last decades.
The new bridge will allow some 1,000 vehicles to cross the lagoon, and is expected to help drive the development of Rocha’s coastline.
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