Do-over! Chilean drawbridge built backwards to be rebuilt

Tourists visit the Cau Cau Bridge under construction in Valdivia, which was built with its traffic decks installed backwards (AFP Photo/) (AFP/File)

Santiago (AFP) - It's back to the drawing board for what was to have been Chile's first drawbridge: its traffic decks were installed backwards.

The complete re-do will cost $15 million, on top of the $30 million that the flawed first span over the Cau Cau River cost, the government said Tuesday.

The bridge connects the southern city of Valdivia with Isla Teja.

The goof, discovered in January 2014 with inauguration day approaching, became a laugh fest for social media users.

The bridge is now one of Valdivia's main tourist attractions.

Drawbridges arc slightly from the center to keep water from forming puddles on them. As the two sections of the Chilean one were set up backwards, the effect was the opposite.

But that was not the only mistake. The equipment that raises the bridge to let ships pass also has to be changed.

"As far as citizens are concerned, we have to replace the bridge completely," Public Works Minister Alberto Undurraga said Tuesday.

Chile has blamed the bridge's builder, the Spanish infrastructure firm Azvi, and said it will make the company pay for the mistake.

Chile will seek bids next year for a new bridge design, the minister said.

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