São Sebastião, Brazil

Viaduct Petrobras

An abandoned stretch of elevated road in the middle of the Brazilian jungle

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As though it was miraculously transported from a more urban area, the abandoned Viaduct Petrobras rises out of the lush South American jungle, a testament to mismanaged government spending.

Construction on the Rio-Santos Highway began in the 1960s and by 1976 the stretch of road was due to be linked to the existing highway. However, the plans were altered at the last minute so that the existing road was linked to a coastal route and the newly constructed, but never used viaduct was simply abandoned. Over 40 meters tall and 300 meters long, the elevated roadway features tunnels, retaining walls, and a massive concrete foundation all being slowly taken over by the surrounding greenery. 

While the abandoned civic project seemed wasteful at the time, it is now a popular tourist attraction for travelers looking to do some rappelling and bungee jumping. The abandoned Viaduct Petrobras can be accessed from the Salesopolis Caragua neighborhood in Porto Novo via a thin country road, but the structure must be approached on foot or motorbike for the final stretch.

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    São Sebastião, 11600-000, Brazil
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