MANILA HISTORIC BRIDGES: 1630-1945
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6. JONES BRIDGE
A surge in the river caused by a tropical storm in 1914 destroyed the central pier of old Espa?a Bridge rendering it impassable. In a few months a steel truss single span was built over the two central spans damaged but the American administration decided to abandon the bridge and replace it with a new one in the place where Puente de Barcas once stood. In 1921 the old bridge was abandoned and the new one opened to traffic with the name Jones Bridge.
Left, a photo of 1920 or 1921 showing the old damaged Espa?a Bridge with no traffic; a little down river can be seen the new Jones Bridge carrying light traffic. In the background, the two large structures of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (background left) and Convento and Church of Santo Domingo (background center.) A street map of the time shows the location of both Espa?a and Jones bridges leading to Nueva (now Yuchengco) and Rosario (now Quintin Paredes) streets respectively.

The photo at right shows a fully finished Jones Bridge some years after inauguration carrying a good volume of normal traffic. The Post Office Building completed in 1926 rises in the background across the river.
 

Filipino architect Juan Arellano was commissioned to design the bridge that was built of reinforced concrete in a three-span, low-arch structure between 1916 and 1922. The piers were adorned with statues of children playing with dolphins and the ends of the bridge were flanked by two pairs of pillars topped by sculptures of La Madre Filipina. It had four access stairways from the river banks and its balustrades were ornamented with lamp-supporting finals in the form of spires. The end result was one of serene elegance, a feast for the eyes in its environment.
Below is a photo of the approach to the bridge from P. Burgos on the southern bank. In the foreground two of the four columns providing a base for different versions of La Madre Filipina, statues by Otto Fischer-Credo, trained in classical sculpture who traveled around the world on commissions. He had a studio and lived in Manila for about six years, and was commissioned by Arellano to do the bridge's sculpture work.
The bridge was destroyed by Japanese forces to prevent crossing by US forces during the battle for Manila (right.) At the time the photo was taken, the riverside area of Intramuros was still standing; across the river are seen the Aduana and Immigration buildings with the Magallanes monument by the river bank. The bridge was rebuilt after the war, albeit with much less ambitious artistic qualities, and is still standing.

As a result of the bombardment during the US forces' final assault on Intramuros in 1945, the left column in the photo was heavily damaged and the statue atop it demolished. Luckily, the statue at right and the two at the other end of the bridge survived and are today displayed in different parts of the city.

Below left is the statue that was atop the right column in the photo above; it is displayed now in Rizal Park, old Luneta. The statues at center and right below were on the columns on the side of Rosario street in Binondo, they are displayed today in front of the Court of Appeals Building.