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Longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Czech resort

DOLNI MORAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC (AP) – A pedestrian suspension bridge that is the longest such construction in the world has opened at a mountain resort in the Czech Republic.

The 721-metre-long bridge is built at an altitude of more than 1,100 metres above sea level. It connects two ridges of the mountains and hangs up to 95 metres above the valley below.

Sky Bridge 721, as it is known, is located in the northeastern part of the country in the Kralicky Sneznik mountain range near the border with Poland, some 200 kilometres east of Prague.

The bridge offers unusual views for visitors who have a head for heights. Up to 500 people will be allowed to be on the bridge at any one time, although that number is halved for the first two weeks following Friday’s opening.

The bridge will be closed for safety reasons if winds reach 135 kilometre per hour. The construction took two years and cost some CZK200 million (USD8.3 million).

Critics said the bridge is too big for the surrounding environment, while others argue it will attract too many tourists to the town, which has a population of less than 500. Czech Tourism believes the bridge could attract tourists from all around the globe.

Theo Scheepens, 59, from the Netherlands was one of the first. “Marvelous, impressive, the bridge moves, so you think something is going to happen,” he said. “I wonder what is going to happen when it is windy. It is terrific weather, we are very blessed.”

The previous longest such bridge is in Arouca, Portugal, and is 516 metres long.

Visitors cross a suspension bridge for the pedestrians that is the longest such construction in the world shortly after its official opening at a mountain resort in Dolni Morava, Czech Republic. PHOTOS: AP
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