Historic Cast Iron Bridge (Spanish Town)

Parish: St. Catherine

Cast Iron Bridge
Historic Cast Iron Bridge

This bridge, which spans the Rio Cobre river at the eastern end of Spanish Town, can be seen from the bridge that is currently being used. The abutment of the bridge is constructed with cut stone while the bridge is cast iron. It is about 81ft long and 15ft wide.

This bridge, erected in 1801, at a cost of four thousand pounds is the oldest bridge of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

So far the restoration of the Eastern face of the abutment wall in authentic masonry, as well as the reconstruction of the main support archway have been completed. The interior 'skin' of the abutment walls is now being reinforced with more stone work prior to the infilling and compacting of the cavity upon which the roadway will be built. The fixing of the roadway surface will be the final facet of the project which began in October last year.

The bridge was declared a National Monument by the JNHT and was at one time placed on the UNESCO list of endangered world sites. It was designed by British Engineer Thomas Wilson, cast in 1801 and shipped to Jamaica in prefabricated parts which were assembled and mounted on its stone abutments in 1802.



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