By Bea and Nina
All funds to support repair and maintenance of the Bridge of Life have been an ongoing community effort and once a year volunteers receive donations at the Bridge of Life. On Thursday, February 11 from 8 A.M. to Noon, we ask you to give liberally to the volunteers requesting a voluntary donation.
(Used by permission of Nancy Milski, artist and designer. Her art work was on t-shirts sold as a fundraiser for bridge repair and maintenance)
The Bridge of Life is a cable suspension bridge (puente colgante) that links Guayabitos and La Peñita. Because of its “lively” nature, some call it the swinging bridge.
In years gone by, the only way to get from La Peñita to Guayabitos was by Highway 200. There was a daily parade of vendor carts, bicycles, and pedestrians. This parade down the sides of a busy thoroughfare inevitably led to injury–and worse. The bridge was constructed in 2003 by generous and visionary members of the American and Canadian community. The Homeowners’ Association took the lead on the bridge-building project. Since then, bridge repair and maintenance has been an ongoing community effort. An independent group of individuals and concerned citizens from both Guayabitos and La Peñita, does what it can to keep the bridge safe and operational.
Crossing the Bridge of Life, from Guayabitos, Avenida Sol Nuevo becomes Calle Bahia de Banderas on the La Peñita side, and leads directly to Avenida Emiliano Zapata. This artery works well for tourists too, especially on Tianguis Thursdays. It is a vital link for the economies and citizens on both sides of the estero. (See the bridge traffic count at end of this article.)
Bridge Etiquette: Most people are respectful users of the bridge and wait their turn to cross the bridge. Some readily assist elderly or those in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, motor cycles can do serious damage to the bridge deck, which is intended for bicycles and pedestrians. The posting of signs on the supports is unsightly, and damages the paint. The bridge is a source of community pride and should be respected.
In 2014, a major fundraising effort supported the eradication of graffiti, the painting of the concrete supports, and the replacement of fifty planks in addition to the installation of side safety mesh and vertical cables to limit sway. Routine maintenance includes replacement of planks as needed and basura pickup. Current needs are replacement of the light on the Guayabitos side and repainting. A major goal will be the replication on the Guayabitos side of the recent La Peñita improvements–stairs and handrail.
On Thursday, February 11 from 8 A.M. to Noon, we ask you to give liberally to the volunteers requesting a voluntary toll at the Bridge of Life. This is a community endeavor. All funds will go to support maintenance.
Bridge Count on Thursday, January 28, 2016
6-7 A.M. Bicycles-25 Pedestrians-33
7-8 A.M. Bicycles-57 Pedestrians-130
8-9 A/M. Bicycles-23 Pedestrians-157
9-10 A.M.Bicycles-30 Pedestrians-371