A viaduct is a series of bridges connected to one another, typically appearing as a series of arches, spanning low ground such as a valley or wetland. They often connect two points similar in height or are built to carry significant amounts of motor vehicles or trains across a city to prevent interrupting local traffic.
You will often find viaducts in use as a way to reduce traffic congestion without sacrificing valuable land. When viaducts are built in urban areas, the space below is commonly used for other purposes. Often that land is owned by the infrastructure owner so it can be leased, providing an additional income source. This is why you often see businesses, bars, or parking lots located under city viaducts.
While a viaduct across a gorge can be considered quite beautiful, those that span urban centers often draw controversy. Residents complain they are ugly or that they divide the city; therefore, there is a move to tear these congestion eliminators down. But sometimes a viaduct can protect the beauty and integrity of what lies below.
We helped connect Adeje and Guía de Isora, two municipalities located in the southwest of Tenerife (Canary Islands) separated by a deep ravine.
The protected landscape between the two towns was home to rock plants, balo shrubs, spurges, and pine trees at the highest point, as well as protected animal species. Archaeological remains have also been found there, together with abandoned agricultural terraces, some galleries, and traces of old stone paths.
The Erques viaduct, a two arch suspension bridge spanning 110 meters, was built over this unique landscape to join two of Tenerife’s most populated municipalities while protecting flora and fauna of the natural environment.