Ricobayo Viaduct

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Ricobayo Viaduct
Viaducto Ricobayo
Ricobayo, Castilla y León, Spain
(377) feet high / (115) meters high
551 foot span / 168 meter span


Located high above the southern end of the Ricobayo reservoir near the city of Zamora is the 2-lane Ricobayo arch bridge. The span was constructed by the cantilever method with diagonal stays in each spandrel supporting the two halves until closure at the crown. The inside of the main arch rib was then stiffened and strengthened by concreting the inside in a method similar to the Chinese steel tubular arch bridges. The height of Ricobayo - if measured to the original river level - is my estimate based on a probable full reservoir water depth of 262 feet (80 mtrs).

Ten miles (16 kms) upstream of the highway bridge is the famous Martin Gil / Esla railway bridge. Completed in 1942, it was once the largest concrete arch bridge in the world with a main span of 631 feet (192 mtrs). Further upstream from Ricobayo is the new Manzanal beam bridge with a main span of 623 feet (190 mtrs) - one of the longest of its type in Spain.

Also in the region and not to be missed is the classic single lane Puente Pino over the Duero river. Opened in 1914 and engineered by José Eugenio Ribera and constructed by Duro Felguera, the slender steel arch was once Spain’s highest bridge at 295 feet (90 mtrs). Later on a dam constructed downstream of the bridge reduced the height to somewhere around 200 feet (60 mtrs).



Ricobayo Viaduct satellite image.