After more than 30 years of often-interrupted work, a modern road-and-rail bridge has been opened across the Suchiate River forming the border between Mexico and Guatemala.
GV Old bridge PAN TO new bridge with flags
SCU PAN Posters showing two leaders
GV PAN Echeveria arrives on bridge PAN TO Laugerud standing on other side of ribbon
SV Troops holding flags (2 shots)
GV Both Premiers cut ribbon, shake hands & embrace
SV Armed soldier
SV & GV PAN FROM Old bridge TO new bridge with two Presidents walking along (3 shots)
SCU Children waving flags
GV PAN Car away with motorbike escort.
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Background: After more than 30 years of often-interrupted work, a modern road-and-rail bridge has been opened across the Suchiate River forming the border between Mexico and Guatemala.
In a simple ceremony last Friday (30 May), President of Luis Echeverria of Mexico and the President of Guatemala, General Kjell Laugerud, met in the middle of the bridge at the official border and simultaneously cut a ribbon to open the new structure.
The new bridge replaces an old, single-track wooden rail bridge.
The 12-span concrete bridge, stretching 377.4 metres (413 yards) across the river is a triumph for technology and hard work. The surrounding jungle made construction difficult ant the shifting sands on which the bridge was laid posed complicated engineering problems.
The separate concrete pylons were sunk 17 metres (18.5 yards into the mud of the riverbed to ensure a firm base.