Juscelino Kubitschek bridge

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Juscelino Kubitschek bridge
The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge viewed from the eastern lake side.
The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge viewed from the eastern lake side.
Coordinates 15°49′25″S 47°49′46″W / 15.82361°S 47.82944°W / -15.82361; -47.82944Coordinates: 15°49′25″S 47°49′46″W / 15.82361°S 47.82944°W / -15.82361; -47.82944
Carries vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian traffic
Crosses Lake Paranoá
Locale Brasilia, DF, Brazil[1]
Maintained by Governo do Distrito Federal
Design asymmetric Arch bridge with suspended deck[1]
Total length 1,200 metres (3,900 ft)[1]
Width 24 metres (79 ft)[1]
Height 60 metres (200 ft)[1]
Longest span 240 metres (790 ft)[1]
Clearance below 18 metres (59 ft)
Designer Alexandre Chan and Mário Vila Verde[1]
Construction begin 2000
Construction end 2002
Juscelino Kubitschek bridge is located in Brazil
Juscelino Kubitschek bridge
Ground view of the JK Bridge.
JK Bridge at dusk

The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek), also known as the President JK Bridge or just the JK Bridge, is a steel and concrete bridge that crosses Lake Paranoá in Brasília. It links the eastern shore of the lake to the center of the city, through the Monumental Axis. Inaugurated on December 15, 2002, the structure of the bridge has a total length of 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), a width of 24 metres (79 ft) and two carriageways with three lanes in each direction, two walkways on the sides for cyclists and pedestrians 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide, and three spans of 240 metres (790 ft).

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.[2]

The main span structure has four supporting pillars submerged under Lake Paranoá, and the deck weight is supported by three 200-foot-tall (61 m) 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 metres (3,900 ft), and it was completed at a cost of US$56.8 million (R$160 million - Brazilian Reais, current 2003).[3] The bridge has a pedestrian walkway and is accessible to bicyclists and skaters.


Despite the structural design complexity and the higher cost of the chosen solution, these characteristics give the bridge a great architectonical beauty and grandiosity. Inaugurated on December 15, 2002, this bridge immediately became one more of Brasilia’s favorite landmarks, especially at night.[4] 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".[5]

This bridge was also awarded the "Premio Abcem 2003" (ABCEM Award) – Best Steel Work of the Year, Bridges and Highway Overpasses Category, granted by the Brazilian Metal Construction Association (Associação Brasileira da Construção Metálica, ABCEM).[6]

The bridge architectural design looks similar to a pedestrian walkway in the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium[7] located at 35°05′25″N 136°52′47″E / 35.09028°N 136.87972°E / 35.09028; 136.87972. However architectural design also included structure shapes and solutions that step away from that footbridge.


The main characteristics of the structure are:[1]

  • Total length: 1,200 m
  • Deck Width: 24 m (three lanes in each direction)
  • Lateral sideways for pedestrians and bicycles: 1.5 m (on each side)
  • Rise: 60 m
  • Clearance: 18 m
  • Arch span: 240 m for each of 3 spans



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge at Structurae
  2. ^ A Tercira Ponte no Lago Sul (Portuguese)
  3. ^ Correio Braziliense (2003-01-07). "O novo point" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  4. ^ Ministério dos Transportes. "Ficha Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek - Histórico" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  5. ^ Gustav Lindenthal Medal Winners (International Bridge Conference Award Winners)
  6. ^ ABCEM 2003 Awards: Ponte Juscelino Kubistchek (Portuguese)
  7. ^ PONTE JK - BRASÍLIA (DF), photographs and map (Portuguese)

External links[edit]