Photographer's Note

Centernial Bridge at the Gillard cut of the Panama Canal. The bridge was named for Panama's centennial, which occurred on 3rd November 2003. The Gillard Cut was named after David Du Bose Gillard who oversaw the blasting of the mountains

The Bridge of the Americas, which opened in 1962, was the only major road crossing of the Panama Canal. The traffic over this bridge was originally around 9,500 vehicles per day; however, this expanded over time, and by 2004 the bridge was carrying 35,000 vehicles per day.

Since the bridge represented a major bottleneck in the Pan-American Highway, Panama's Ministry of Public Works requested tenders for a second canal crossing in October 2000. The contract to build a replacement bridge was awarded in March 2002. An ambitious schedule of just 29 months was set for construction, in order that the bridge could open on the 90th anniversary of the first ship transit of the Panama Canal by the cargo ship Ancon, on 15 August 1914.

The new bridge was designed by a joint venture between T.Y. Lin International and the Louis Berger Group Inc, and constructed by German based Bilfinger Berger utilizing resources from its Australian subsidiary Baulderstone Hornibrook. Boston-based transportation architect Miguel Rosales from Rosales + Partners created the concept and initial aesthetic designs for the Panama-Centennial Bridge. Structural engineering contracts were awarded to Leonhardt, Andr and Partner.

The bridge was inaugurated on schedule on 15 August 2004, although it was opened for traffic on 2 September 2005, when the new highways leading to it were finished.

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Additional Photos by Achim Fried (John_F_Kennedy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5110 W: 56 N: 10483] (43763)
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