Upon the completion of the Panama Canal, the world realized that the northern and southern Americas would be permanently split. More importantly, the cities of Colón and Panama City would be separated from the rest of the country. Ferries were used at first, then a couple of other swing bridges provided limited traffic passage between the two separated areas. Eventually, the U.S. government agreed to the construction of a 20 million dollar bridge that would be part of the Pan American Highway. Construction started in 1959. A completion ceremony took place on October 12, 1962. The opening image features a view of the bridge captured from the front of the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl on our canal cruise in 2013. As it is a panoramic image, clicking on it will bring you an enlarged view (in most browsers.)
Originally, the bridge was named for the ferry that provided a connection to the two continents before the construction of the bridge. The Thatcher Ferry Bridge was already renamed Bridge of the Americas before its inauguration. According to an article about the bridge in Wikipedia (where most of this post’s information is sourced), by 2004, the bridge was carrying 35,000 vehicles a day. Details about the bridge’s cantilever construction and history can be found in that article here.
In 2019, on our second trip through the canal, I captured images of the northern end of the bridge as we went under it. In 2013, we traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 2019, we traversed the canal in the opposite direction. The opening photo shows the view to the west as we traveled toward the Pacific Ocean.