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Puente Marqués de Serna


Photo From National Register Nomination

BH Photo #193221

Street View 

Discussion of Bridge 

From the National Register Nomination

The Marques de la Serna Bridge is today the center piece of a small park located immediately northeast of kilometer 24.1 on route 890. The bridge has segmented arches that are similar to those of the Arcole Bridge in Paris (Photo 1) . Twenty-four feet above the level of the river, the structure is composed of four parallel set rises, trusses with arched lower chords, diagonal spandrel elements and with the cords embedded into the rubble masonry of the abutments. The floor/deck substitution does not affect the essential character of the structure, which is provided by the arches and cast iron ornamentation, which cover the deck's edge. This bridge possesses historic integrity of location, workmanship, design, feeling, and association. The alterations in setting and materials are minor. It is sided by cast iron elements adorned with relief flowers. Originally the structure had the Marques de la Serna's coat of arms at the center of the railings. The bridge's setting has been altered, but it retains some of its character and focuses on the bridge itself. The railings are not as important in this case in which observers are not limited to crossing the bridge but walk around and beneath it.

The Marques de la Serna bridge is named after the marquis of Serna, Felix Maria de Messina, who was governor of Puerto Rico from 1862 to 1865. It is the first metal bridge to have been built in the Island, and the only metal arch bridge that exists in Puerto Rico. The iron elements were brought from France. The bridge was assembled by Isidoro Abarca, Founder of Abarca Foundry, over the rubble masonry abutments of an older wooden bridge as part at the Catano-Bayamon highway, one of the first in Puerto Rico and an important link between San Juan Bay and the agricultural land to the South and West. Between 1881 and the early 1900s the bridge also served the Linea Ferrea del Oeste Railroad. For that purpose, two of the arches were reinforced in 1881. This valuable relic is the only bridge of its type in Puerto Rico and within the jurisdiction of the United States. It is well conserved and an excellent example of how to preserve for full recreational and educational value those historical bridges no longer in vehicular use.


Iron arch bridge over Río de Bayamón on PR 890
Bayamón, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Open to pedestrians
Built 1869 (?)
- Isidoro Abarca
- Línea Férrea del Oeste
Rolled iron segmented arch
Span length: 83.6 ft.
Total length: 83.6 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 19, 1995
Also called
Puente de Bayamon
Marques de la Serna Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+18.40269, -66.15591   (decimal degrees)
18°24'10" N, 66°09'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/800491/2037094 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bayamon SE
Inventory numbers
NRHP 95000850 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
PR 379 (Puerto Rico bridge number)
BH 47953 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 12, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • March 22, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added category "Linea Ferrea del Oeste"
  • February 3, 2011: Essay added by Nathan Holth
  • February 2, 2011: Added by James Baughn



Marques de la Serna Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Here is a translation of the description on this photo:


The Marquis de la Serna bridge named in honor of Felix Maria Messina, who was Governor of Puerto Rico from 1862 to 1865. It was the first metal bridge built on the island, and the only laminated iron arch that exists today. The iron items were brought from France. The bridge is segmented arches are similar to the Arcola bridge in Paris. The structure is located 24 feet above the river level.

The bridge was assembled by Isidoro Abarca, founder of the Foundry Abarca, was mounted on the same anterior bridge abutments built of masonry and wood. Part of the road between Cataño and Bayamón, a major route between the island of San Juan and agricultural lands in the west and south. Between 1881 and 1900, the bridge served as part of the railway train from the west. For this reason, two of the arches strengthened in 1881.