The Puente de Occidente is also called Bridge of the West is located in western Antioquia, Colombia. The Puente de Occidente is a suspension bridge that connects the municipalities of Olaya and Santa Fe de Antioquia, east and west of the Cauca River, respectively. Therefore, this was an impressive single suspension span supported from four pyramidal towers on each bank of the river with each tower anchoring two cables. The suspension bridge has a main central section which cars and smaller trucks can cross and two pedestrian paths on either side of the central roadway. So far, it is considered the 7th largest suspension bridge worldwide.
The bridge construction was started in 1887. So, material mainly iron and steel was being imported from England, however towers were built with local materials. The 291 meter high bridge works begin in December 1887 and completed in 1895, approximately five years after initiation with the final cost was 171.000 pesos. Initially it was open for pedestrian only, but later on decision was made revert and vehicles were allowed. These days much longer suspension bridge in providing facilitation to South American. Once, the Puente de Occidente was longest of such type in the continent, and with the passage of time, it requires repair work, which were significantly performed in the early part of 2014. In Nov 1978, it was declared a National Monument of Colombia. Moreover, the structural system of the Puente de Occidente is alike to the suspension/cable-stayed hybrid used in the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge´s structure is made up of four caraway wooden towers, iron sheets supported on masonry walls, wire ropes and a roadway of 3.10 meters wide and lateral sidewalks. In 1955, bridge was underwent reinforcement works to increase the bearing capacity to allow vehicles.
The Puente de Occidente was an expeditious way to get to the Magdalena Rive the country’s main waterway that divides the province into two parts. The major purpose was to construct the bridge actually remove the obstacles in order to establish the trade routes and would connect the region with other regions in the country. On May, 30 1881, a decision was made to build the suspension bridge over the Cauca River. Before the bridge, the river was undoubtedly, the greatest obstacle for the communication between the people of Antioquia. Due to rich history, and vulnerability, the bridge is included in tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.