Iconic Santa Catarina Bridge Will Reopen after 28 Years

Hercílio Luz will be reopened in Florianópolis on December 30


After nearly three decades serving only as a backdrop for photos, the iconic Hercílio Luz Bridge will resume its liaison role between the mainland and Santa Catarina Island.

The "Velha Senhora, [old lady]" as the locals call it, will be reopened on December 30, following several failed attempts at revitalization.

Hercílio Luz bridge, in Florianópolis (SC). (Foto: Edgar Lopes/Folhapress) - Folhapress

The bridge, opened in 1926, underwent a renovation, replacing about 60% of the original hardware, already worn by the sea air and heavy traffic. Construction was in danger of collapse and was closed in 1991.

The repair project lasted 14 years and cost about R$ 566.3 million (R$ 1.2 billion in value corrected by inflation).

"This work is almost a total restoration and not just a recovery," says Santa Catarina Secretary of Infrastructure and Mobility Carlos Hassler. "But the biggest challenge was to get the work flowing within the state legislative bureaucracy, with a thousand controls."

With the reopening, the expectation is to reduce the chaotic traffic access to the island, currently concentrated in two other bridges. Initially, traffic will only be allowed to pedestrians, cyclists, buses, and emergency vehicles. The opening for cars will be gradual.

After receiving national historical and artistic heritage certification, the finally revitalized "Velha Senhora" represents, for Hassler, the recovery of the little self-esteem (as the Florianopolitano is known). "It's to show that when we need it, we know and do it," he said.

The long-awaited work will have a reopening party that will last for a week, until January 5, with artistic, folkloric and gastronomic attractions.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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