Recife’s Revolving Bridge

Ponte+GiratoriaRecife’s Revolving Bridge (Ponte Giratória) was inaugurated in 1923 and connected the neighborhoods of Bairro do Recife and São José. The idea for the bridge came from the urbanization plan for the island of Recife, with the aim of transforming the area into a regional development zone. The modernization efforts started in 1918 and included demolishing 65% of the Bairro do Recife’s buildings, under the Dantas Barreto government.

As for how the bridge worked, when it spun sideways to let sailboats through, it was said to be “aberta”, and most people knew when that happened due to the siren that would sound. Nonetheless, some people ignored the warnings and ended up with their vehicles falling into the water.

Part of the bridge included a railway for taking shipments to the old port. As the roadways of Brazil got better and handled more cargo, the bridge, already having infrastructure problems, fell into disuse by 1970, at which point another bridge (the ‘Ponte 12 de Setembro’) was put in its place. People still refer to it, though, as the Ponte Giratória. Below, you can see one of the several pillars that still remain from the original bridge it’s named after. [1, 2]

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