Jones Bridge
Photo of Jones bridge
Jones Bridge at sunset
Coordinates14°35′45″N 120°58′38.3″E / 14.59583°N 120.977306°E / 14.59583; 120.977306
CarriedMotor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
CrossedPasig River
LocaleManila, Philippines
Official nameWilliam A. Jones Memorial Bridge
Other name(s)Banzai Bridge (c. 1942)
Named forWilliam Atkinson Jones
Maintained byCity Government of Manila
Department of Public Works and Highways - North Manila District Engineering Office[1]
Preceded byBinondo–Intramuros Bridge
Followed byMacArthur Bridge
Characteristics
DesignNeoclassical arch bridge
(1919–45)
Girder bridge[2]
(1945–present)
MaterialSteel-reinforced concrete
Total length115 m (377 ft)[1]
Width16.70 m (54.8 ft)[1]
Traversable?yes
Longest span300 m (984 ft)[3]
No. of spans3
Piers in water2
Load limit20 t (20,000 kg)
Clearance below7.5 m (25 ft) at mean tide[4]
No. of lanes4 (2 per direction)
History
DesignerJuan M. Arellano
(1919–20)
Constructed byCity Government of Manila (1919–20)

Philippine Bureau of Public Works (1920, 1945)

U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (1945)
Construction start1919
Construction end1920
Inaugurated1921
Rebuilt1946
CollapsedFebruary 1945
ReplacedPuente de España
Location
Map

The William A. Jones Memorial Bridge, commonly known as the Jones Bridge, is an arched girder bridge that spans the Pasig River in the City of Manila, Philippines. It is named after the United States legislator William Atkinson Jones, who served as the chairman of the U.S. Insular Affairs House Committee which had previously exercised jurisdiction over the Philippines and the principal author of the Jones Law that gave the country legislative autonomy from the United States. Built to replace the historic Puente de España (Bridge of Spain) in the 1910s, the bridge connects Quintin Paredes Road at the Binondo district to Padre Burgos Avenue at the Ermita district.

Originally designed by Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano using French Neoclassical architecture, the first incarnation of the bridge features three arches resting on two heavy piers, adorned by faux-stone and concrete ornaments, as well as four sculptures on concrete plinths allegorically representing motherhood and nationhood. The original bridge was destroyed during the World War II by retreating Japanese troops and was reconstructed in 1946 by the U.S. and Philippine public works. The reconstructed bridge retained the three arches and two piers but removed all of the ornaments. The bridge was first partially restored in 1998. In 2019, the City Government of Manila began a rehabilitation project to "restore" the Jones Bridge to its near-original design using Beaux-Arts architecture similar to that of Pont Alexandre III in Paris and the return of the 3 extant La Madre Filipina sculptures (the 4th requiring reconstruction).

History

First Jones Bridge (1919–1945)

A black-white photo of the Jones Bridge showing its original form
The original design of Jones Bridge.

The Jones Bridge was originally commissioned under the auspices of the City Government of Manila in 1919 before the Insular Government, through the Philippine Bureau of Public Works, later took over in finishing the bridge's construction in 1920.[5] The bridge was intended to replace the Puente de España (Bridge of Spain), the first bridge built to cross the Pasig River constructed during the Spanish colonial era and the last incarnation of bridges that span the same location since 1630. It collapsed during the heavy rains of September 1914 that weakened the central pier collapsing the middle span of the bridge. The Puente, which was located at one block upriver at Calle Nueva (now E.T. Yuchengco Street), was temporarily kept open using a temporary truss bridge while the new bridge is being constructed at Quintin Paredes Street.[5]

The construction of new bridges were part of a master plan of Manila Daniel Burnham, who wanted to give emphasis to the city's rivers and likened them to the Seine River in Paris and the canals of Venice.[5] This plan was heavily implemented and supervised by William E. Parsons, but upon the passage of the Jones Act, Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano took over and finished the bridge's final design. Jones died in 1918 while the bridge was still being planned, and the Filipinos named the passageway for the lawmaker behind the law that gave the country autonomy from the United States.[5]

Arellano designed the bridge in the style of the passageways constructed during Haussmann's renovation of Paris.[5] He embellished the piers with a statues of boys on dolphins, similar to those on the Pont Alexandre III at the river Seine (which he had previously visited).[5] Similar to the Parisian Pont, he marked both ends of the bridge with four plinths and commissioned a sculptor named Martinez to build four statues, called La Madre Filipina (The Philippine Motherland), which would be placed on the pedestals.[5]

World War II

The bridge was renamed to Banzai Bridge during the Japanese occupation, by virtue of Executive Order No. 41 issued by Philippine Executive Commission Chairman Jorge B. Vargas in 1942.[6] During the Second World War, the Japanese Army bombed the bridge against the incoming American troops during the Battle of Manila.[7][5] One of the four statues was permanently lost during the destruction.[5] After the war, a Bailey bridge was set up as a temporary passageway for vehicles while the main bridge itself is being rebuilt.[5]

Second Jones Bridge (1946–present)

Post-war reconstruction

Aerial view of the Jones Bridge in 2015 (with Intramuros and Manila Bay in the background).

Following the passage of the Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1945, the Philippine Bureau of Public Works and the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads reconstructed the Jones and Quezon bridges using large and deep steel girders.[5][8] Upon its completion, none of its original ornamentation on either piers and balustrades were restored, and its neoclassical aesthetic were replaced with an unadorned architecture in an urgent haste to finish its reconstruction.[5] The three remaining La Madre Filipina statues were also removed and its plinths were demolished. One was relocated within Rizal Park while the two others are relocated at the entrance of the Court of Appeals Main Building.

1998 restoration

In 1998, in celebration of the Philippine Centennial Independence, the bridge was partially restored by architect Conrad Onglao, who was commissioned by then-First Lady Amelita Ramos. Stone balustrades replaced the post-modern steel design.[5] During the time of Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, the steel girders were lighted and thematic lamp post were added onto the bridge, which drew mixed reactions. Two fu dogs were also added at the base of the bridge's south side, which gave it a Chinese character as opposed to its original neoclassical design.

2019 redevelopment

The steel girders of Jones Bridge are lighted at night.

In 2019, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced plans to "restore" the Jones Bridge to its near-original architecture, including the return of the three surviving sculptures that had previously guarded the bridge, using the ₱20 million that were donated towards the project.[9][10] The fourth sculpture destroyed by the war was replicated using the archives of the pre-war Jones Bridge in the National Library of the Philippines.[10] Moreno commissioned Jose Acuzar, owner of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar to design and build Beaux-Arts-styled lamp posts similar to those on Pont Alexandre III. The four plinths for the La Madre Filipina statues were reconstructed that would act as the pedestal for the returning sculptures.[10][11] Retrofit and repair works were also done at the steel girders of the bridge.

The statues of Gratitude and Democracy were reinstated at the bridge on November 22. Jones Bridge was inaugurated on November 24, 2019, and was formally opened to the public. However, the remaining statues of La Madre Filipina located at the grounds of the Court of Appeals were deemed too fragile to be moved for relocation to its original spot. They were instead replicated, then reinstated at their original location in June 2021.

Sculptures

The plinths at the Binondo entry of Jones Bridge where the statues of Progress and Justice are located.
La Madre Filipina

Four statues that guarded the bridge are collectively called La Madre Filipina (The Philippine Motherland). Three of them were spared from the war but was relocated. The fourth one was destroyed and it was replicated in the 2019 redevelopment. Each statue symbolizes the different aspect of nationhood since the Philippines at the time was transitioning from being a colony of the United States to gaining its independence.

Traffic

View from the bridge looking north to Binondo during its 2019 inauguration.

The Jones bridge rarely suffers from traffic congestion, which usually occurs at both ends of the bridge due to parking violations.[12] Water buses of Pasig River Ferry Service also habitually pass under it to reach its Escolta Street station.[13] Every January 9 of the year since 2013, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority annually closes the bridge from car passage for a procession during the Feast of the Black Nazarene after the Department of Public Works and Highways deemed the nearby MacArthur Bridge unstable to accommodate increasing foot traffic during the festivities.[14] However, the Translacion was rerouted to Ayala Bridge starting 2020, which has been recently retrofitted.

Incidents

In 1989, the bridge was the location of an ambush in which P2 million cash was stolen, and two policemen were killed.[15]

In 2012, the Philippine Coast Guard issued a ban on swimming along the Pasig River after three floating bodies were discovered within the vicinity of the bridge.[16] In 2019, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission rescued three teenagers who were struggling in swimming under the bridge from drowning.[17]

In popular culture

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Detailed Bridge Inventory". Department of Public Works and Highways. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  2. ^ Structura (2019).
  3. ^ NGS (1940), p. 127.
  4. ^ MMUTIS (1999), p. 37.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Alcazaren (2001).
  6. ^ Executive Order No. 41 (1942), Changing the name of Dewey Boulevard to Heiwa Boulevard; Taft Avenue to Daitoa Avenue; Harrison Boulevard to Koa Boulevard; Jones Bridge to Banzai Bridge; Harrison Park to Rizal Park; and Wallace Field and Burnham Green to Plaza Bagong Filipinas, retrieved April 26, 2021
  7. ^ Arnold (2015).
  8. ^ United States. Bureau of Public Roads (1945).
  9. ^ Domingo, Katrina (September 12, 2019). "Mayor Isko receives P20M from Chinese businessmen for Manila bridge project". ABS-CBN Corporation. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "The Capital Report". City of Manila. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  11. ^ "Look: New lampposts along Jones Bridge". ABS-CBN. October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Cahiles-Magkilat, Bernie (September 5, 2018). "Chamber opposes China-funded Binondo-Intramuros bridge". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "Pasig River Ferry FAQ". MMDA. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "DPWH cautions use of MacArthur and Quezon bridges in Manila for Black Nazarene translacion activities". Republic of the Philippines. September 5, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Ignacio, Bert; Fernando, Jean (June 13, 1989). "Soldiers, not cops, in Jones Bridge ambush". Manila Standard. Kagitingan Publications, Inc. p. 7. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Macairan, Evelyn (March 7, 2012). "PCG: Ban swimming in Pasig River". Philippine Star. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Baron, Gabriela (August 10, 2019). "Three minors rescued from drowning in Pasig River". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.