Billinghurst Bridge

It is a suspension bridge over the Madre de Dios River, at the gates of Puerto Maldonado. It is part of the South Interoceanic Highway, which connects Brazil and Peru. With its 722 meters, it is the longest bridge in the country. It was inaugurated in July 2011.

Billinghurst bridge

The roads in Peru began in the early twentieth century with incipient roads on the coast that were projected to the north and south, starting from Lima and east, towards La Oroya, Cerro de Pasco and Huánuco, with its Oroya- Huancayo-Ayacucho-Andahuaylas-Cuzco. In the South, the Nazca-Puquio-Abancay-Cuzco highway and later the Olmos-Marañón River, Arequipa-Puno and llo-Puno-Desaguadero. Up to here the roads were limited to join longitudinally the coast and transversally the coast and the mountain range.

In 1936, with the discovery of the Boquerón del Padre Abad, construction began on the first road in Selva: Tingo María-Pucallpa, with the consequent difficulties that its soil and its rainfall entails.

It culminated in 1950 with the construction of the San Alejandro bridge and the pavement of the 60 km stretch between Neshuya and Pucallpa. The most important bridge was undoubtedly the Aguaytia bridge, over the river of the same name. With a record length of 765 meters and a light between towers also record 170 m. This highway always had the pretension to reach the border with Brazil through a section of 120 km that has not yet been executed.

A few years later, in 1940 the second road in the jungle began, from Urcos to Marcapata-Quince Mil- lnambari-Mazuco-Puerto Maldonado, with less geographical difficulties, but greater distance from the supply areas. This road ended up to Fifteen thousand in 1950 with the construction of the Fortaleza Bridge, a pendant of 1'14 m with its board and stiffening beam in pre-stressed concrete, constituting the first bridge in concrete of this type in Peru. Subsequently, from the sixties, the 170 km stretch of Puerto Maldonado to lberia and the 80 km stretch of lberia were built. The road was completed in 1994 with the project and construction of the Tahuamanu bridge at km '140 + 730 of the Puerto Maldonado-lberia section, a pre-reinforced concrete bridge constructed by successive cantilevers, a method that allows construction without a false bridge and, consequently, any time of the year. With this bridge, only the bridge in Puerto Maldonado over the Madre de Dios River remained to be built, to link the Peruvian port in the Pacific with lñapari in the triple border between Peru and Brazil and Bolivia, and consequently with the road network in Brazil that leads to the Brazilian ports on the Atlantic.

The lnteroceánica Highway in its section in Peruvian territory has three origins in the Pacific: San Nicolás in lca, Matarani in Arequipa and llo in Moquegua. The first two sections converge in Cuzco, to go later to Urcos-Marcapatia-Quince Mil-lnambari- Mazuko and Puerto Maldonado. The lnambari and Loromayo bridges, corresponding to this section, were completed in 1962, giving continuity to the transport to Puerto Maldonado without transshipments.

The section from Puno to lnambari was completed in 1998 with the construction of the Otorongo bridge, allowing the connection with the first two, just on the right bank of the lnambari river, upstream of the bridge of the same name.

The construction of the President Guillermo Billinghurst Bridge is of great importance because it gives continuity to the stretch of the lnteroceánica and is the bridge of greatest magnitude in Peru for its light between supports of 320 meters that partially covers the water mirror that has a width of 500 meters. This record light surpasses that of the Punta Arenas bridge, over the Huallaga river with 220 meters. The fact that its main light of 320 meters is less than the width of the water mirror, implies that the foundations of the towers are raised with a water depth ranging from 5.30 in minimum dryness to 16.9 in extraordinary maximum waters in a period of return of 500 years. The depth of the foundations columns is 55 meters under the channel and a total length of 60 meters under the foundation platform.

Billinghurst bridge

The diameter of the foundation columns is 1.85 m. The magnitude of the measures indicated is a record in Peru and implies the import of equipment suitable for these magnitudes. The work of drilling with bentonite mud or similar is not foreign to us, but in smaller magnitudes and above all necessarily operating from a floating platform and not from the ground.

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