Longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened in Czech resort

DOLNI MORAVA, Czech Republic (AP) – A pedestrian suspension bridge that is the world’s longest structure has opened in a mountain resort in the Czech Republic.

The 721 meter long bridge was built at an altitude of more than 1100 meters above sea level. It connects two ridges and hangs up to 95 meters (312 ft) above the valley below.

Sky Bridge 721, as it is known, is located in the northeast of the country in the Kralicky Sneznik Mountains near the border with Poland, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Prague.

The bridge offers unusual views for visitors with a fear of heights. A maximum of 500 people are allowed on the bridge at one time, although that number will be halved for the first two weeks after it opens on Friday.

The bridge will be closed for safety reasons when winds reach 135 kph (84 mph).

Construction took two years and cost about 200 million Czech crowns ($8.3 million).

Critics say the bridge is too big for the area, while others argue it will draw too many tourists to the city, which has fewer than 500 inhabitants.

CzechTourism believes the bridge could attract tourists from all over the world.

Theo Scheepens, 59, from the Netherlands was one of the first.

“Beautiful, impressive, the bridge is moving, so you think something is going to happen,” he said. “I wonder what will happen if the wind blows. The weather is great, we are very blessed.”

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

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