Los 7 Puentes de Avellaneda – Made on the Isle of Dogs

Having too much time on my hand this Christmas, I’ve been sorting out the many thousands of images of the Island that I’ve collected over the years, one of which is this high resolution photo taken at Westwood’s works opposite Harbinger School.

Westwood’s, Napier Yard, Westferry Road, 1928 (click for full-sized version)

In the 2014 article, Westwoods – From the Thames to the Indus, I described just a couple of the objects that were built by Westwood’s of Westferry Road, and installed around the world. As Con Maloney recently commented to me, “Most of the Island’s industrial heritage is to be found off the Island”.

I wondered where this bridge was destined to be installed. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out, as it is stated on the board at bottom centre:

It says:

BUENOS AYRES
GREAT SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY LTD
CALLE AGUERO ROAD BRIDGE
50.0 METRE CLEAR SPAN
REQ. NO. B2738/4253
OCT. 8/1928

The spelling isn’t quite right, but this was a reference to Agüero Bridge in Buenos Aires, better known as the Seven Bridges of Avellaneda (“Los 7 Puentes de Avellaneda”). The bridge was inaugurated in 1931 and consists of seven cast-iron spans, each 50 metres long.

1937

The bridge is part of a kilometre-long series of embankments and bridges designed to connect the avenues Crisólogo Larralde (formerly called Agüero) and Alsina, at the same time crossing a large area of railway sidings.

The bridge is still in use, just over 90 years and 11,000 kilometres distant from its manufacture across the road from what would become my primary school. If I ever go on holiday to Buenos Aires I am going to drive my family nuts by insisting we go visit the bridge.

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