The Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, also known as the Rio–Antirrio Bridge, stands as one of the most remarkable engineering feats globally. It holds the distinction of being one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and is the longest of its kind with a fully suspended design. Situated in close proximity to Patras, it gracefully spans the Gulf of Corinth, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to Antirrio on the mainland of Greece via a road connection. This iconic bridge made its official debut just one day prior to the commencement of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, precisely on August 12, 2004, and played a vital role in transporting the Olympic flame.
Stretching over a remarkable 2,380 meters (equivalent to 7,810 feet or 1.48 miles), this bridge serves as a game-changer in terms of accessibility to and from the Peloponnese region. Previously, the only means of reaching this area were by ferry or via the isthmus of Corinth in the eastern part of Greece. The bridge boasts an impressive width of 28 meters (about 92 feet), featuring two vehicle lanes in each direction, an emergency lane, and a designated pedestrian walkway. The cable-stayed portion of the bridge, consisting of five spans supported by four pylons, stretches over a length of 2,252 meters (equivalent to 7,388 feet), ranking as the world’s third-longest cable-stayed deck.
The Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge garners widespread recognition as a true marvel of engineering, owing to its ingenious solutions implemented to surmount the formidable challenges posed by its location. These challenges encompassed the presence of deep waters, the use of less secure foundation materials, seismic activity, the potential threat of tsunamis, and the shifting dynamics of the Gulf of Corinth, influenced by plate tectonics.