Batanes’ Old Spanish Bridge was built during the Spanish era and is one of the oldest bridges in the province. It is also known as the Tuhel Spanish Bridge since it stands over Tuhel Creek. The structure stretches to 12 meters and was built using lime and mortar.
The Old Spanish Bridge is one of the very few surviving bridges constructed in the Philippines during the Spanish period.
The Old Spanish Bridge stands in Ivana, Batanes, over the Tuhel Creek in the middle of the town. From the House of Dakay, tourists can walk a hundred meters down the main road to reach the main bridge. The whole structure takes only less than five minutes to roam.
History and Built
The Old Spanish Bridge was constructed during the Spanish colonial period in the 1800s. Engineer-architect Fr. Nicolas Castano ordered the development of the bridge and all the others in Batanes.
The bridge It has three arches of varying dimensions, which supports the structure. It was constructed without any reinforcement steel. To hold the mortar in position, up until it hardens, gabi leaves were used in place as forms. The traces of the fact are still evident beneath to this day.
It was originally 63 meters long, 3.5 meters wide, and stands 6 meters high. However, in 1970, during the service of Mayor Manuel Valones, the bridge was rehabilitated to get rid of and further prevent soil erosion on its basement. It was also expanded to accommodate four-wheeled vehicles.
The Old Spanish Bridge was noteworthy during the Spanish era when coastal roads were not yet wholly connected. The bridge helped link some sitios to the rest of the island.
Cracks are now present on the bridge due to seismic movements and ensuing efforts to stabilize it using cement. Today, cement has been utilized to stabilize and strengthen the old bridge. Hence, it remains in good condition and passable for vehicles.