HAVANA._ Known locally as the Iron Bridge, this structure, the only one of its kind in the Cuban capital, has been given a new lease on life by a renovation that has facilitated its reopening as a link over the Almendares river between the two important residential zones of Miramar and Vedado.

<>Constructed in the U.S. early in the 20th century, its main task in Havana was to provide a tram service for unfettered eastbound urban sprawl at a time when the Linea and Fifth Avenue tunnels had not even been dreamed of.

As time passed, trams lost out to buses and the Iron Bridge was redesigned; the rails were removed from the structure to facilitate use by other vehicles and pedestrians.

The bridge’s centrally supported horizontal turn table allowed ships to pass beneath and enter shipyards on either bank of the Almendares.

<>Authorities responsible for the restoration of the time-ravaged bridge decided for total replacement with a similar technologically modern new structure of the same design.

The project, which was concluded in late 2014, incorporated respect for patrimonial values and the use of existing original civil and mechanical elements in order to facilitate a flow of river and road traffic on or over the Almendares.

<>With a high quality marine steel structure, an effective rust resistant coat of paint, advanced turn and lash technology and a cabin housed centralized operational control center, the Iron Bridge continues to serve Havana, thanks to an intensive restoration with a final price tag of almost $1.5 million.

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