Cable-Stayed Bridge Nears Completion in Puerto Rico

Wed February 13, 2008 - Southeast Edition

Construction crews in Puerto Rico are reaching the finish line on a $31 million cable-stayed bridge crossing the La Plata River between Naranjito and Toa Alta.

Construction on the 2,300 ft. (703 m) bridge began in August 2002 and is set to be completed in September.

The structure consists of a 1,050 ft. (320 m) long cable-stayed concrete span, supported by 96 cables. A 525-ft. (160 m) section will span the river without any supporting structures entering the water, thereby not disrupting its natural flow.

It will carry four 12-ft. (3.7 m) lanes, two 9.8 ft. (3 m) walkways and a 5.9 ft. (1.8 m) median barrier. Its main pillars are hollow, diamond-shaped structures that reach 272 ft. (83 m) high.

Conventional lighting will illuminate the transit areas on the structure, but the two towers will be lit decoratively. It already can be admired by sight-seers from several locations, including an observation deck.

The bridge is just a portion of a larger PR 148 project that will line Bayamón, Toa Alta and Naranjito. The overall project is being completed in four simultaneous projects. Eventually, PR 148 and PR 147 will be renamed PR 5.