January 5, 2012
The Baluarte Bridge was dedicated in western Mexico. This structure is officially known as the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Mexican declaration of independence from Spain. That bicentennial actually took place in 2010, but construction on the bridge had fallen behind schedule. The Baluarte Bridge, which took four years to build, crosses over a jagged stretch of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and connects the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Durango.
The Baluarte Bridge replaced the Millau Viaduct in France as the world’s highest cable-stayed bridge. The clearance for the Baluarte Bridge is 1,322 feet (403 meters) from the road deck to the bed of the Baluarte River; two Washington Monuments could fit underneath the bridge. The Baluarte Bridge now ranks third as the highest cable-stayed bridge. In addition, this bridge is the highest in the Americas and eighth highest worldwide. Along with holding these records, the bridge has a main span — measuring 1,710 feet (520 meters) — that is the longest cable-stayed span in North America.
This bridge has been seen as a vital component in efforts to facilitate the smoother and safer flow of traffic through that region of Mexico. Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared at the dedication, “This is a symbol of the prosperity we want for Mexico, a symbol of the Mexico of the future.”
More broadly, construction of the bridge was part of the Durango-Mazatlán highway project seeking to better connect Sinaloa’s major port of Mazatlán with Durango’s capital and largest city Victoria de Durango and ultimately provide a more direct route between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Mexico. At the time of its dedication, the Baluarte Bridge was almost 86 percent complete. It was finished later that month and formally opened to traffic the following year.
Photo Credit: Panza Rayada (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en
For more information on the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge, please check out https://structurae.net/en/structures/baluarte-bridge