Motorists that frequently travel between the cities of San Juan and Manila can once again cross the historic San Juan River Bridge. Also called Pinaglabanan Bridge, it connects N. Domingo Street in San Juan City and Old Santa Mesa Road in Manila.
Demolished around two years ago to give way to the construction of Skyway Stage 3, the bridge displaced about 8,000 motorists who use it to cross between San Juan and Manila. But thanks to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the 40-meter bridge is now open to vehicles once more.
Present during the grand reopening of the bridge were San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, as well as MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim.
The bridge was set to be opened at a much earlier date. However, due to a fire that caused a portion of Skyway Stage 3 to collapse, they decided to postpone its opening to March in order to check the elevated expressway's integrity, which sits right above the San Juan River Bridge.
According to Villar, the reopening of the San Juan River Bridge will greatly benefit those living in both San Juan and Manila. Before, motorists had to take alternate routes just to get to their destinations. Now, they can easily cross between the two cities without having to take the longer route.
Originally built during the Spanish colonial era, the bridge saw one of the major battles between Filipino and Spanish forces during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 to 1898, as well as the Philippine-American War that occurred from 1899 to 1902. On February 5, 2009, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines placed a historical marker on San Juan River Bridge to commemorate its role to the start of Battle of Manila and is present to this day, albeit it's still vandalized.
The DPWH expects that around 8,000 – 10,000 motorists will benefit from the reopening of the San Juan River Bridge.