In the early 20th century the neighbourhood of La Boca was one of the most prosperous in Buenos Aires, with a high level of business and industrial activity. Factories, cold storage facilities and shipyards proliferated on either side of the River Matanza-Riachuelo, with boats, ships and workers passing through continously.
In 1908 the company Ferrocarril del Sud was given a permit to build a new transporter bridge that would connect La Boca (City of Buenos Aires) with Isla Maciel in the municipality of Avellaneda (province of Buenos Aires). The cost – around 100,000 pounds sterling – would be entirely borne by the province of Buenos Aires.
Its iron structure was built in sections in England, which were then shipped to Buenos Aires and erected there; the assembly work took around 3 years. Only the foundations for the towers, submerged at a depth of 24 metres, were built locally. The bridge was opened on 30 May 1914 with the name of Puente Transbordador Nicolás Avellaneda, as a tribute to the ex-President of the Argentine Republic (1874-1880).
The bridge not only allowed the passage of people and vehicles, it also housed the tramway that previously crossed the river mounted on a barge.