7 Jan 2012

Eiffel Tower could fit under world's tallest bridge

4:39 am on 7 January 2012

President Felipe Calderon of Mexico has inaugurated the tallest bridge in the world.

The 433 metre Baluarte bridge is so tall the Eiffel Tower would easily fit under its central span.

The bridge is part of a new highway, crossing some of Mexico's most rugged terrain, from Mazatlan on the Pacific Coast to Durango in the interior.

The opening of the 1124m bridge is part of celebrations to mark 200 years of Mexico's independence from Spain.

It is expected to open to traffic later this year. Mexican officials hope it will boost tourism and commerce in the region.

The highway replaces a notoriously dangerous winding road known as the "Devil's backbone" that crosses the jagged peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

As well as Baluarte, there will be eight other bridges over 300m high, as well as more than 60 tunnels.

Officials say it will reduce the journey between Mazatlan and Durango by about six hours.