At the turn of the 20th century, the new American colonial government started putting into place an ambitious plan to improve the lives of Filipinos as well as stimulate economic growth in its new territorial possession. This plan included the construction of infrastructures such as roads, rail networks, public government buildings, hospitals, schools and many others.
Roads were a priority as these were important to the movement of products as well as people. In Batangas, by 1916, many macadam roads had been paved where the previous Spanish colonial government were content to have rough roads. Needless to say, the construction of roads also necessitated the construction of bridges.
One such bridge was the Mataywanac Bridge in Tuy, essential to the completion of the Tuy to Nasugbu road. This bridge’s construction must have also been delayed along with other projects being executed by te Bureau of Public Works. In its April 1916 Quarterly Bulletin1, the rainy season took longer than many residents of Batangas knew it to have been, so it was not until January of the same year when any real construction work could be done.
Below is a photograph of the Mataywanace bridge, built at a cost of ₱17,416.81 according to the bureau. Although the bridge was constructed the Americans, its design was very similar to the many adobe bridges constructed during the Spanish colonial era that were still in existence in Batangas at the time.
|The Mataywanac Bridge in Tuy. Image digitally extracted from the April 1916 edition of the Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin.|
Notes and references:
1 “Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin, Volume 5 No. 1,” published April 1916 in Manila by the Bureau of Public Works.