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Jones Bridge

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The William A. Jones Memorial Bridge runs through the Pasig River, connecting the Manila area of Binondo on Quintin Paredes Street. The previous bridge that connected the two areas was the Puente Grande or the Great Bridge which was later called the Puente de España (Bridge of Spain) located one block upriver on Yuchengco Street.

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Back then, the Puente de España suffered from wear and tear beyond repair and it was decided that the construction of a replacement bridge was planned. It was constructed beside the Puente de España which remained in use until the newer bridge’s completion. The new bridge was named as the Jones Bridge after former Virginia Rep. William Atkinson Jones, who was the principal author of the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916. The bridge’s construction fully commenced in 1919 by the City Government of Manila but the American colonial government took over to finish the bridge in 1920. Jones Bridge was inaugurated in 1921.

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The Neoclassical design by Juan M. Arellano was an ornate concrete arch bridge. The bridge was patterned after the style of bridges in Paris during the Napoleonic and Haussman eras. The bridge had three arches resting on two piers. The piers’ interior was reinforced with steel while the cladding and ornamental designs were made in concrete and pre-cast faux stone.

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Arellano placed a statuary of boys on dolphins in the piers which is similar to the Pont Alexandre III in Paris, which Arellano saw himself on a trip back in the Philippine islands from the United States. Other elements of the bridge such as the balustrads, finials, lamp posts and moldings are likewise heavily ornamented. Statuary on plinths were also placed on both ends of the Jones Bridge. A sculptor named Martinez was commissioned to create four allegorical tableaus which shared the similar theme of motherhood and nationhood.

The bridge was left heavily damaged after the Japanese bombed it during the World War II. After the war, a bailey bridge was temporarily used until the bridge could be repaired.

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