Puente de Occidente, Santa Fe de Antioquia

#3 of 13 in Things to do in Santa Fe de Antioquia
Bridge · Tourist Spot
The Puente de Occidente (Bridge of the West), so named because it is located in western Antioquia, Colombia, is a suspension bridge that connects the municipalities of Olaya and Santa Fe de Antioquia, east and west of the Cauca River, respectively. At the time it was considered to be the third largest suspension bridge worldwide.
The bridge is a single suspension span supported from four pyramidal towers - two on each bank of the river - with each tower anchoring two cables. The span has a main central section which cars and smaller trucks can cross, and two pedestrian paths on either side of the central roadway. All three paths have wood upper surfaces. Construction started in 1887, under the direction of engineer José María Villa , after authorization by Marcelino Vélez, governor of Antioquia. The cables and other steel parts were purchased from England, while the towers were constructed of local materials. The Puente de Occidente was initially open only to pedestrian traffic; later, vehicles were allowed.

While today there are other, much longer suspension bridges in South America, originally the Puente de Occidente was the longest of its kind in the continent. It was declared a National Monument of Colombia on 26 November 1978. José María Villa, who had been born nearby in Sopetrán, studied engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey; after finishing his studies in the United States, he participated in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The structural system of the Puente de Occidente is similar to the suspension/cable-stayed hybrid used in the Brooklyn Bridge.
Significant restoration was performed in the early part of 2014.
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Puente de Occidente reviews

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67 reviews
  • Paid $20,000 pesos to go here in a moto-taxi, round trip with wait, walk across the bridge and view the info about the bridge, as well as look underneath... I went ahead and paid extra to have him...  more »
  • Constructed in the 19th century, this suspension bridge is a must see - especially if you have a guide that can explain the history and engineering feat - I found the Ecotours Colombia guide...  more »
  • This 200 year old bridge is a national monument of Colombia. Magnificant 268meters of the Cauca River.
  • Very awesome experience. Going across wile the bus waited at the other side was breath taking. It swang one side to the other making us feel deasy. It was a real adventure. The kids will love it ok .
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