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Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Europe's longest bridge opened in Portugal

The Portuguese president, Jorge Sampaio, has opened the longest bridge in Europe, over the River Tagus at Lisbon.

The new seventeen-kilometre bridge will ease traffic jams on the only other bridge.

It took nearly four years to build and cost the lives of eleven workmen.

The bridge will bring traffic to the site of the Expo 98 world fair which is due to open in Lisbon next month.

The bridge has been named after the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, to mark the five-hundredth anniversary of his discovery of a sea route from Europe to India.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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