Experts reveal why there are no bridges over the Amazon River


The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world and one of the most important rivers in the world.

It has more fresh water by volume than any other river; home to the largest species of river dolphin in the world; and includes up to 60 kinds of piranhas.

Since the Amazon crosses three nations (Peru, Colombia and Brazil) and the river basin is home to more than 30 million people, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, no bridges cross the river.

Are there any challenges inherent in constructing such buildings in a rainforest with barters, huge ponds, and dense undergrowth? Are there any financial barriers? Is it just not worth the time?

The curse of the Amazon

(Photo: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Amazon’s lack of bridges is unusual compared to other of the world’s best-known rivers, according to Live Science.

In Cairo alone, there are about nine bridges spanning the Nile; more than 100 bridges have been built over Asia’s largest river, the Yangtze, in the past 30 years; and the European Danube, which is barely a third the length of the Amazon, has 133 bridges.

For much of its 4,300 mile (6,920 kilometer) length, the Amazon runs through sparsely populated areas, meaning there are few major highways that a bridge can connect to.

Boats and ferries are an established means of transferring goods and people from one bank to the other in the towns and villages that surround the river.

Bridges are only designed to make movement a bit faster, not because they are necessary.

According to Walter Kaufmann, chair of structural engineering (concrete structures and bridge design) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the Amazon is not an ideal place for bridge builders because it contains a variety natural obstacles that engineers and construction workers can trip over. would have to overcome.

Additionally, construction would be very difficult due to the varying locations of the river channel over the seasons, as well as significant fluctuations in water depth.

Although no bridge crosses the Amazon, one crosses the Negro River, which is one of its main tributaries.

The Ponte Rio Negro bridge, which was built in 2011, connects Manaus to Iranduba and is the only major bridge that crosses a tributary of the Amazon to date.

While there are no specific plans for a bridge over the Amazon, that doesn’t rule out the possibility, according to Philip Fearnside, an American biologist, scientist and conservationist who has spent much of his career in Brazil.

Read also : Amazon’s massive “river monster” has washed ashore in Florida!

Logistical and technical difficulties

“The river’s wetlands and fragile soils would require extremely long access viaducts and very deep foundations,” Kaufman said, requiring a significant financial commitment, according to Unilade.

Construction of a bridge would also be hampered by the “pronounced changes” in water depth that occur throughout the year, as Kaufmann explained, “The Amazon environment is undoubtedly l ‘one of the toughest in the world’.

Bridges across straits are just as difficult to build if the water is deep, but at least you know that pontoons, for example, can be used.

Because of how the Amazon varies with the seasons, pontoons or floating buildings wouldn’t work in most areas, Kaufmann added.

Related article: Amazon Hunters is working with scientists to save rare Pink River dolphins

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