Image courtesy of Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz
Completed in 2002, the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge is considered one of Brasilia’s favorite landmarks. The bridge is a beautiful steel and concrete structure that crosses Lake Paranoa in Brasilia. It is also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge because it pays homage to former Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek, who established Brasilia as the nation’s capital in the 1950s.
The unique charm of the bridge lay is largely due to the three 200-foot-tall (61 m) asymmetrical steel arches that support the deck and crisscross diagonally soaring and swooping gracefully across the waters. The deck is hung on steel cables from the arches, also steel, which appear to twist as they cross. Brazilian architect Alexandre Chan, who designed the bridge, said that through this curve design he wanted to accentuate Brasilia’s striking sunsets.
With a total length of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) the JK Bridge carries three lanes of motorized traffic in each direction and provides walkways on both sides for pedestrians, bicyclists and skaters.
Thanks to its special design, Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge earned the ABCEM Award in 2003 for the Best Steel Work of the Year, and its architect won the Gustav Lindenthal Medal at the 2003 International Bridge Conference. This medal is awarded “for a single, recent outstanding achievement showing harmony with the environment, aesthetic merit and successful community participation.”