The Bridge of Americas Panama Canal (or Puente de las Américas in Spanish) was built along the Pan-American Highway in 1962. This four lane Panama land bridge offered a more efficient way for vehicle traffic to travel between land masses on the North and South of the Panama Canal.
The United States initiated and funded this first Panama Canal Bridge, which cost 20 million U.S. dollars at the time (equivalent to 161 million in 2017).
Up until its completion, the only way for vehicle traffic to cross the Panama Canal was by a small swinging road bridge at the Gatun Locks, or a swinging road and rail bridge at Miraflores Locks. Both of these swinging Panama bridges had a very limited capacity. The United States hoped to make it much easier to cross the Panama Canal and to reconnect Colon and Panama City, which were cut off from the rest of their republic by the building of the Panama Canal. Read more