Caguitas River Bridge, 2007

Jardin Botanico de Caguas, Puerto Rico



Satellite View of Project Location (satellite data not current enough to show the newly constructed bridge.) View Larger Map
Brandon McGinnis and Gabe Newton put on the finishing touches.

USE:  Pedestrian

SPAN:  175'

TRAVEL WIDTH :  5'

TOWERS:  26' tall, A 588 Weathering Steel

ANCHORS:  5' x 5' Earth anchor, 12 ft soil depth each mainline

MAINLINES:  1-1/4" Galvanized Structural Strand

Caguitas River Bridge, 2007


The Caguitas River Bridge is located in the lush and newly established Jardin Botanico y Cultural (Botanical and Cultural Garden)
in Caguas, Puerto Rico. This park sits on 60 acres that historically were part of the Hacienda San Jose sugar plantation that thrived throughout the 19th century. Previous to the rise of sugar production, the area was inhabited by the indigenous Taino Indians, who left their mark in the form of petroglyphs on the river's exposed bedrock. The park is divided into several themes, and it is the Caguitas River Bridge that gives the visitor passage through time from the Taino cultural exhibit to a re-creation of a traditional Puerto Rican mountain folk house.

The bridge's 175 feet span the narrowest portion of the Caguitas River and puts a gentle bounce in your step as you make your way through the space over what is a meandering stream for most of the year. From mid-bridge you may get the chance to watch fish rising in the pond down stream, iguanas grazing on the grass below, or hummingbirds visiting the blossoms in the trees above. After nightfall following a long day working on the bridge, a couple of builders stopped to view the reflection of the stars in the pool below, recognizing the likely inspiration for most of the Taino petroglyphs that have survived to today.

All of the bridge material and requisite tools were shipped to Puerto Rico from our Seattle headquarters in a 40 foot shipping container that took a 3 week journey over land and sea. Constructed during the height of hurricane season, (Aug - Oct 2007) the bridge crew was challenged by some heavy tropical rainstorms but luckily did not have to cope with a bona fide hurricane.

However, given the possibility of hurricane force winds on site, the bridge was engineered out of heavier material so that it can withstand winds of 145+ mph. A 50 meter concrete boom truck was used to pump concrete to the abutment on the inaccessible side of the river, and this is the first Sahale suspension bridge to incorporate the streamlined look of our cable railing system. The towers and superstructure are A 588 weathered steel, the decking is composed of lightweight slip-proof fiberglass grating, and the mainlines, suspender cables and under-deck diagonal cables are all galvanized steel.

Brandon McGinnis pulls the first mainline into position.
Pulling the main lines.
 
     
The Caguitas River through cable barrier.
Streamlined cable railing system.