Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Historic Cast Iron Bridge in Spanish Town

Way back in 1801 the island of Jamaica saw a need to connect it's former capital, Spanish Town, to the new growing metropolis of Kingston.   Between the two cities lie the Rio Cobre River.   So a 97 foot long cast iron bridge was built and it's still in use today, 210 years later.  On each bank of the river, a supporting structure of cut stone was installed in the late 1600's then a cast iron bridge was installed completing the connection between the two cities.

(The oldest cast iron bridge in the Caribbean 
built for 4,000 pounds or $6,245 US Dollars)

Map of Bridge

View Larger Map

This was back in the day when England still had control over the island so most parts of the bridge were shipped over from the UK for installation.  It was designed by Thomas Wilson and manufactured by Walker and Company in England and took about 3 years to go from conception to completion.  

Amazingly, it's still in use today by both cars and pedestrians despite needing some repairs.  Repairs have been ongoing since 2004 on the stone support structures and word has it that the iron bridge itself is next for help.  So if you find yourself in the Spanish Town/Kingston area I'd suggest you take a spin by this historical moment and testament to the bridge builders of the day.

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