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The Bridge of the Americas

the panama canal's bridge of the americas

With an elevation of 364 ft. (118 m) and a width of 5,007 ft. (1,669 m), the Bridge of the Americas connects the two landmasses separated by the Panama Canal.

Built by the United States and costing $20 million, the Bridge of the Americas forms an integral part of the Interamerican Highway connecting both North and South America.

the bridge of the americas at sunrise, photo taken from the look-out on the west side of the bridge

Construction on the bridge began on October 12th, 1959, and took nearly two and a half years. Before its completion, and for almost 30 years, ferry service was the primary means of connecting North and South America. Even today, sixty years after service ended, you can still see remnants of the piers on both sides of the canal. The inauguration took place on October 12, 1962.

While currently referred to as the Bridge of the Americas, it was first named the Thatcher Ferry Bridge, after Mr. Maurice H. Thatcher, who was responsible for introducing the legislation that launched the ferry service.

the cruise ship infinity passing under the bridge of the americas during her northbound transit
the bridge of the americas at night, taken from the look-out on the west side of the bridge

On the western side of the bridge and just off to the right side of the road, you’ll find a look-out area. From here, one can get a reasonably good view of the bridge in its entirety, Ancon Hill and Panama City in the distant background. The picture that appears above was taken there. Looking north, you can see Miraflores Locks and more of the Panama Canal. There is no other look-out area near the bridge, and you are not permitted to walk across it or stop while driving over it. For an elevated, more distant view of the bridge, you can visit Ancon Hill. You can also see the bridge from the Amador Causeway.

For more information regarding the Bridge of the Americas, we recommend that you visit the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Antiguo. They have plenty of written literature and numerous photographs dating back to the construction phase.

Getting to the Bridge of the Americas

Google Map - Bridge of the AmericasGoogle Map - Bridge of the Americas Look-out

There are no public buses that service the look-out area. You need to hire a taxi.

the panama canal's bridge of the americas

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