• Spain's news in English

'Spanish firm built our bridge upside down'

AFP/The Local · 8 Jan 2014, 17:05

Published: 08 Jan 2014 17:05 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The $30-million (€22-million) drawbridge project was supposed to open this month, and become an instant landmark connecting Valdivia with Teja island by bridging the Cau Cau River.

But it has ended up a laughing stock in local social media, as Chileans wondered how construction workers managed to mess up something as seemingly clear as up and down.

Twitter users in Chile have parodied the building error with (fake) images like the one in the tweet below:

The fail has also got President Sebastián Piñera a bit defensive. "It can be fixed, ... and it will be fixed by the company that made the mistake," Pinera said dropping the ball in the court of Spanish infrastructure builders Azvi.

Inspectors getting ready for opening day found that either one or two of the traffic decks were installed backwards, authorities said.

"The only responsible party is the builder. We are going to make them answer for this," Public Works Minister Loreto Silva. 

In a statement sent to The Local via email, however, Azvi said that while minor errors in the bridge's construction had been detected, it was not true that the bridge had been built backwards.

"The controversy around the bridge having been built upside down doesn't make any sense as both parts (of the traffic decks) are symmetrical," the company stated.  

Azvi also highlighted a press release from Chile's Public Works Ministry saying there were "no structural problems" with the bridge.

As yet, no new opening date for the bridge has been announced.

Valdivia, 840 kilometers (520 miles) south of sprawling Santiago, is home to about 125,000 people.

A video showing how the Valdivia drawbridge should actually operate. 

Story continues below…

January has not been a good month for Spanish developers in Latin America. Spain's infrastructure giant Sacyr — part of a consortium contracted to expand the Panama Canal to accommodate new super container ships — is currently embroiled in a costs row with the Panama Canal Authority.

The two parties are in negotiations over who will pay for cost overruns. 

Spain's Public Works minister flew to Panama for emergency talks in a spat that threatens the future of the critical project

Don't miss stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available