Rio Grande Bridge

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Rio Grande Bridge
Puente Rio Grande
San Jose, Costa Rica
340 feet high / 104 meters high
448 foot span / 137 meter span
1902


The highest railway bridge ever built in Central America at 340 feet (104 mtrs), the Rio Grande bridge is also the highest bridge in the country of Costa Rica. One of the first balanced cantilever truss bridges ever built, the design is very similar to the Viaur Viaduct in France which was constructed the same year. Although it resembles an arch, each half of the structure is like a separate bridge connected at the crown. A heavier distribution of weight on one end of the bridge will have a greater influence on how much of an arch effect will occur within the central span.

Built to carry the narrow gauge Pacific Railway of Costa Rica, the line is no longer in use. A 310 foot (94 mtr) high road bridge crosses the gorge next to the railway bridge. Both bridges are located 26 miles (42 kms) northwest of San Jose.



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