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The Friendship Bridge
is an arch bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...
connecting the Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...
ian city of Foz do Iguaçu
Foz do Iguaçu is the 7th largest city in Paraná state, Brazil, with a population of 255,900 inhabitants. It is located approximately 650 km west of Curitiba, Parana's capital city, being the westernmost city in that state...
and the Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...
an city of Ciudad del Este
Ciudad del Este is the second largest city in Paraguay and capital of Alto Paraná department, located at the Rio Paraná....
History and importance
The bridge was opened to traffic in 1965. The space between the main arch is 290m (303m in total). The bridge itself is 552.4m long.
The bridge is extremely important to the economies of both Foz do Iguaçu and all of Paraguay. Most of Paraguay's imports and exports
The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold....
pass through the bridge, generating constant traffic problems throughout the area. Brazilian smugglers usually come and go through this bridge, smuggling mostly electronic devices such as handheld computers, digital cameras and sometimes weapons, since in Paraguay they are allowed to sell weapons that are not permitted in Brazil. They usually transport themselves in private bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...
es. Although there is an import tax of 60% on the price of anything (coming from Paraguay into Brazil) costing more than 300 dollars, smugglers often pay bribes to avoid paying any taxes.
BR-277 is a federal highway of Brazil, across the state of Paraná, between the town of Paranaguá and Foz do Iguacu....
begins immediately after the end of the bridge in the Brazilian side.