The third bridge over the Panama Canal is officially open and it’s attracting attention around the world.
The $590.6 million, 4,605-meter expanse on the Colon-side of the Canal and it has earned famed as the world’s longest cable-stayed concrete bridge. The “cable-stayed” section is more than 1 kilometer.
Beyond the record, the four-lane bridge will cut travel times for thousands of people and businesses. It will make the area more accessible and help change the transportation dynamic of the region. Until the bridge, the main form of transportation was a ferry.
“The whole country benefits. Colon benefits,” new Panama President Laurentino Cortizo said at the inauguration ceremony for the bridge.
The bridge really is an engineering marvel. Tall enough at 75 meters to allow the huge ships to pass underneath, the concrete span is supported by double-plane cables anchored to two delta-shaped main pylons, which rise to 212 meters. Construction began on May 2013, even as work moved forward on the expansion of the Canal.
Next up is a fourth bridge, which is currently under development, which will add another route from Panama City to the west. That bridge will include space for an extension of Panama’s metro.
Here’s a video of the third bridge shot during the construction:
Imagen Cortesia: El Boletín Panamá