The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília. It is named for Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, former president of Brazil, who in the late 1950s decided to build Brasília as the new capital of the country. It was designed by architect Alexandre Chan and structural engineer Mário Vila Verde.
The main span structure has four supporting pillars submerged under Lake Paranoá, and the deck weight is supported by three 200-foot tall asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross diagonally. The decks are suspended by steel cables alternating at each side of the deck, interlacing in some kind of twisted plane (parabolic like). The entire structure has a total length of 1,200 m, and it was completed at a cost of US$56.8 million (R$160 million – Brazilian Reais, current 2003). The bridge has a pedestrian walkway and is accessible to bicyclists and skaters.
I have driven across this bridge and it looks even more amazing in person, especially with the backdrop of the lake and the greenery surrounding it. Theres a good place just to the right after crossing the bridge (on the Paranoá side) where you can stop and take a picture of it.
Despite the structural design complexity and the higher cost of the chosen solution, these characteristics give the bridge a great architectonical beauty and grandiosity, up to the level of Brasilia’s majestic scale. Inaugurated on December, 15, 2002, this bridge immediately became one more of Brasilia’s favorite landmarks, especially at night. Chan won the Gustav Lindenthal Medal for this project at the 2003 International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh. This medal is awarded “for a single, recent outstanding achievement showing harmony with the environment, aesthetic merit and successful community participation”.