Amazing Bridge Discovery Part 1: A Packhorse Bridge at the Baitings Dam and Reservoir

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

This year will go down in history as the driest in 500 years. Especially in Europe, much of the bodies of water, be it rivers, lakes and reservoirs, lost up to 80% of its water thanks to a spring and summer where rain was non existent in some places. No matter where a person went, every corner of Europe was dry, including the rivers of the Elbe, Rhine, Sienne, Po and the Thames, just to name a few. The last time it was this dry was the Great Drought of 1540, which wiped out half the European population.

The drying out of the waters uncovered artefacts that had been submerged in water for decades, ranging from sunken ships and submarines, to houses and hamlets abandoned, to even bridges, like the one you you are about to watch, which were built over two centuries ago.

One of the bridges discovered in the drought is located in the Baitings Reservoir. The dam and reservoir were built in 1956 with the purpose of providing water and electricity from the river Ryburn to residents in nearby Wakefield in the West Yorkshire area in England, between Manchester and Leeds. There are two reservoirs that the dam created as a result: a lower and an upper Ryburn. This year’s drought uncovered a packhorse bridge located in the upper end of the reservoir. Locally known as the Baitings Bridge, the stone arch bridge is usually underwater during the year with normal rainfall. This year’s drought uncovered the bridge for the first time in 33 years and with that, there is a documentary on this bridge and the mysteries that are involved with it. Martin Zero provides us with a tour of the reservoir and bridge with some amazing discoveries in the process. Click on the video below and enjoy the 28-minute documentary.

There is an even later edition produced by Zero that features the reservoir that has dried up further, to a point where a person could even walk underneath it. That you can find here:

The Baitings Bridge is also part of the Mystery Bridge series as Mystery Bridge Nr. 180.


What Will Become of This Historic Bridge?

What Will Become of This Historic Bridge?

Polk Co. MN and Traill Co., ND plan to replace this bridge beginning next year. However before the project is to begin, they would like to give this span away. Between now and the end of April 2023, you can purchase one of the two or both spans for reuse. For more information about the bridge adoption, click on the link here:

More bridge details per Troy Larson you can read in the text below:

Ghosts of North Dakota

In May of 2014, I took a trip along the Red River to photograph a bunch of historic bridges for a potential future book, and found this place, a bridge I had never visited before.

Officially it is Traill County and North Dakota Highway Departments Project No. FAS 71A. Locals refer to it as the Nielsville Bridge, after Nielsville, Minnesota, the closest community to the bridge (Cummings, North Dakota is a few miles west).

Built in 1939, the bridge was in pretty bad shape when I visited in 2014–it had been repaired a number of times, and asphalt patches were visible in the road deck in several places. In 2015, a hole opened up in the deck and the bridge was closed. It has been closed ever since, and the question remains–What will become of this historic bridge?

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 208

Also a Mystery Bridge Article Nr. 179

This Pic of the Week takes us to the topic about the Basket-Handle Tied Arch Bridge. The first known bridge that was constructed using this design was the Fehmarn Bridge in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where the two arches meet in the middle above the roadway. The bridge was built in 1963 and is still serving traffic to this day and will continue to do so in the future despite having a freeway and railway tunnel be built alongside the structure.

Fehmarn Bridge in Germany. Photo taken in September 2014

But you are probably wondering why I mention this when my pic of the week has to do with another bridge. This pic takes us back to the city of Preetz. We had already found a replica of a historic bowstring arch bridge that was dedicated to the late Hans Umlauff a pair of articles back. But the town of 20,000 has another diamond in the rough that spans a railroad line connecting Kiel with Lübeck via the Lakes Region in Plön.

The Walter-Ewoldt-Brücke is located on the south end of town at Zappenweg, near the Europa Union Kreisverband Organization. The bridge was built in 1958 and provides pedestrians and cyclists with easy access over the railroad and onto the bike trail, with access to the beach along Lanzer See (Lake Lanz). When looking at it from a side view, the first assumption would be that the bridge presents a unique arch. Yet if you are a bridge engineer or a bridge enthusiast like yours truly, you would also look at the bridge’s underside to see how the decking is supported. And sure enough…..

….. it features the basket-handle arch design similar to the Fehmarn Bridge. Even when looking at the vintage postcards of the structure that just opened after its construction, even by the oblique view, one will see the obvious.

The conclusion here, the first basket-handle arch bridge was not built in 1963 at Fehmarn but here, in Preetz in 1958. Yet one should be specific for the Ewoldt Bridge has a deck arch design using the basket-handle design, whereas the Fehmarn Bridge is still the first one that features a through arch design, similar to the spans that exist to this day, including the newly-built I-74 Bridge in the Quad Cities:

Photo taken by Todd Wilson

Nevertheless, who was behind the construction of th unusual bridge in Preetz and was this person the same one who built the bridge at Fehmarn? If not, who was behind the invention of the basket-handle arch bridge. If you have any information that will be useful to solve one of the two or both cases, use the contact info provided here. A project to create a book on Schleswig-Holstein’s bridges is ongoing and if you have any information that is useful for the book, use the contact details for that. Details on the bridge book project can be found here.

Happy Bridghunting folks, and stay safe out there. ❤


Building Four Bears Bridge

Building Four Bears Bridge

This next story brings back memories of way back. In 1999 I visited the Four Bears Crossing with a friend of mine who lived in Minot at that time. The cantilever truss span provided a unique natural setting, especially at sundown when I took some pictures of the bridge. Yet I wondered how the structure was built given its location. Fast forward some years later, we enter two people into the mix: Troy Larson, who wrote this story about the bridge, and Staci Roe who found a box of photos of the construction of the Four Bears Crossing while at a rummage sale. Put the two together and you find a mammoth of a story of how this bridge and the reservoir it spanned were created. More on this you can read here. 🌉😊

Ghosts of North Dakota

Mighty rivers require mighty bridges and several impressive examples have spanned the North Dakota stretch of the Missouri River. The river valley near the former town of Sanish has been home to several. First, the Verendrye Bridge, a steel truss bridge completed in 1927, crossed the Missouri at Sanish. In 1934, the first bridge to be known as Four Bears Bridge was built downstream near the town of Elbowoods. They served North Dakota dependably through the thirties and forties.

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BHC Newsflyer: 2 October, 2022

Clarksville (Bacon) Covered Bridge. Photo by Mike Garland



To listen to the podcast, click on the link here for Anchor. The Spotify version can be found below.




Foundry Branch Bridge While in Operation in 1948. Source: Leonard W. Rice, collection of Md. Rail Heritage Library

Foundry Branch Trolley Bridge in Washington Spared Demolition- For Now, That Is!


Bridge Info:


Rahmede Viaduct. Source: Michael Kramer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Demolition of the Rahmede Viaduct in Lüdenscheidt, Germany Tabled Until Next Year



Portions of the Sansibel Causeway Wiped Out by Hurricane Ian. Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office (public domain)

Hurricane Ian Destroys Sansibel Causeway in Florida

Bridge Info:


Long Grove Covered Bridge. Photo taken by Steve Conro

Long Grove Covered Bridge Hit by a Truck for the 41st Time

Article with Questionnaire: Click here

Bridge Info:


Sheepford Road Bridge. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Sheepford Road Bridge

Sheepford Road Bridge Honored by Preservation Pennsylvania


Bridge Info:


Carrie Furnace Bridge. Photo taken by Brian Mannville

Historic Carrie Mill Railroad Bridge to be Restored and Integrated into wider Pittsburgh Bike Trail System


Bridge Info:


Blair Covered Bridge. Photo taken by Royce and Bobette Hailey

New Book on New Hampshire’s Covered Bridge Now Available




Entries are being taken between now and December 1st for the 2022 Bridgehunter Awards. Two new categories have been added with some changes made with one of them. Nonetheless, if you have a favorite bridge photo, bridge place, restored historic bridge or person who deserves a lifetime recognition for his/her work on historic bridges, click on the following links below and submit your entries today. Voting begins after December 1st and the winners will be announced on January 21st, 2023.

2022 Bridgehunter Awards (new info): 2022 Bridgehunter Awards: Now Taking Entries

Bridgehunter Awards (categories and guidelines):


2022 Bridgehunter Awards: Now Taking Entries

Photo by Brett Sayles on

After a very tumultuous year where anything that could go wrong went wrong (or is going wrong), especially when looking at climate change and all its impacts at every corner of the globe, the shooting sprees in the United States, and the war in Ukraine, which has the full potential to become World War III, there has to be something where we can look at and take pride in what we have, while asking ourselves what we can do to make the situation better for everyone, right?

This year’s Bridgehunter Awards, presented by the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles has 2022, as our theme as we’ve added a couple categories and made a few changes in another one to focus on what happened, reflect on them and figure out how to get things right for once, for humanity’s sake.  From now until December 1st, we’re taking entries for this year’s 2022 Awards in the categories of the following:

Best Bridge Photo

Best Example of a Restored Historic Bridge

Bridge Tour Guide (National and International)

Mystery Bridge

Lifetime Achievement

Endangered TRUSS

Lost Bridges Tour Guide

And lastly,

Bridge Media and Genre


New to this year’s awards are the following:

Best Kept Secret Individual Bridge-

We’re including bridges that are unique but were severely damaged or destroyed during the war in Ukraine as well as through the natural disasters we faced this year. We had quite a few this year; sadly what is gone cannot be brought back.


War Time Bridge-

This is a (hopefully) a one-off category. Entries must feature a bridge that played a key role in a military conflict. It can be one that was destroyed in conflict. Those who enter a bridge in this category must provide a summary of its history and why it played a significant role. All bridge entries here will be included in the War Time Bridge page in the Chronicles. To view the page, click here. Apart from the ones from the World Wars and other conflicts in the past, it also includes the current conflict in Ukraine and therefore, all bridges in the conflict with photos and all are welcomed here.


Spectacular Bridge Disasters-

Normally this is awarded by the author himself in the Author’s Choice Awards. However, there were too many bridge disasters this year that it was decided to open this category for voting. Aside from what has been reported in the Chronicles, if you have some that deserve mentioning, please use the contact form and submit your entry. Keep in mind, a summary of the bridge disaster and its location are needed in order to qualify, plus either a video or photo or both.


For more information on what is allowed in the entries, please check on the link below so that you have an idea what you can submit. You’ll find a list of the previous award winners in the link.

Link: The Bridgehunter Awards

To submit your entries, use the contact details in this page.  The contest is open to all ages and you can enter as many as you want in each of the categories mentioned.


Because of the aforementioned circumstances plus Covid-19, entries of this year and dating as far back to 2019 are allowed for this year’s awards.  If you have any questions, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles using the Contact Form.

As in the past, all entries must be received by no later than December 1st at 12:00pm Chicago Time (7:00pm Berlin Time). Voting will then start afterwards and will last through all of December and most of January 2023, ending at 12:00pm Chicago Time on January 20th. The Winners will be announced on January 21st .

Hope to see some unique entries in this year’s contest and happy bridgehunting, folks! Stay safe out there, wherever you are.


Famous Pictures of the Middle-Rhine: The Hubertus Viaduct — Cityscape Travel

The Hubertus Viaduct is one of only a handful of those glorious 19th-century railway bridges that both a) survived WW2 and the post-war reconstruction and b) remain in service. Though the viaduct is not perhaps a common image in the Middle-Rhine Valley, it often appears in other media, as it is one of only two easily photographed operational viaducts in Germany.

Famous Pictures of the Middle-Rhine: The Hubertus Viaduct — Cityscape Travel

Photo Story: Fatal bridge collapse in the Brazilian Amazon — CDE News – The Dispatch

A picture taken with a drone of the collapse of a bridge in the municipality of Careiro Da Varzea, Brazil. At least three people died on 27 September and 14 more were injured when a bridge collapsed over a river in the Brazilian Amazon, official sources reported. Three vehicles fell into the river when the…

Photo Story: Fatal bridge collapse in the Brazilian Amazon — CDE News – The Dispatch

No longer funny: Box truck heavily damaged after hitting historic bridge in Long Grove; bridge has been hit over 30 times — The Barrington Hills Observer

A box truck became struck the Long Grove Covered Bridge near Robert Parker Coffin Road and Schaeffer Road in Long Grove on Monday. | Photo: Chatter Box of Long Grove A box truck was heavily damaged after it hit the historic bridge in Long Grove Monday afternoon. The bridge has been hit over 30 times […]

Read more here, courtesy of the Barrington Hills Observer:

No longer funny: Box truck heavily damaged after hitting historic bridge in Long Grove; bridge has been hit over 30 times — The Barrington Hills Observer



The bridge has been hit 41 times since its rehabilitation in 2020. It’s leading officials and residents to reconsider what to do with the bridge. The covered bridge is modern, having been built in the 1970s to cover a pony truss bridge that was built in 1906 by Joliet Bridge and Iron Company. Information and photos can be found in the link here. Here’s a poll for you to vote:

You have two weeks to vote. The results will be presented in the Newsflyer podcast on October 16th.

Happy bridgehunting, folks. 🙂


Mystery Bridge Nr. 178  : Trinity Street Bridge in Hartford, Connecticut

Source: Google

When visiting Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, one will be amazed at the architecture that the city of 123,000 inhabitants has to offer. Apart from the Wadsworth Athenium, Hartford has several historic buildings that date back to the 1700s, such as historic public library, the Old State House, the Travelers Tower and the campus of the University of Connecticut, which is the powerhouse of women’s college basketball. Apart from the history centers that are devoted to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, one of the places that is worth visiting is the historic State Capitol Building. Located Bushnell Park, the Capitol is accompanied with various historic sites, including this one in the picture above, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.  Located on Trinity Street in the park, the arch was built by George Keller in 1886 and was the first memorial arch of its kind in the United States. It was dedicated to honor over 4000 soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Source: Wikimedia

Little do the people realize, there was once a bridge that was attached to the arch. The bridge was brought to the attention of the pontist community recently because of its unique design. The bridge features a five-span stone arch bridge with a total length of between 160 and 200 feet. When looking at the photos and postcards of the bridge in, the first two historic bridges in Europe came to mind: The Alte Brücke in Heidelberg, Germany and the Charles Bridge in Prague in Czechia. Unlike the two, this bridge in Hartford was dated back to the 1700s, but we don’t know when it was built exactly. One postcard pinpointed the build date to 1757, but it is unknown whether this date is accurate. The other is we don’t know who built the stone arch bridge.  If the memorial arch was constructed in 1886, it could be that Keller may have built the stone arch bridge itself, which means the bridge is younger than what was on the postcard.  In other words, the question we have about the stone arch bridge is when exactly was it built and by whom?


Sadly though, as part of the modernization of the city in the face of increasing population and traffic, the stone arch bridge and the Park River itself were both buried with the river now running underground enroute to the Connecticut River.  The memorial arch itself still stands, and cars can travel through it going one way towards the Capitol. An additional street was built that goes past the arch, carrying traffic to the City Center and XL Arena. Hartford itself has been dealing with poverty issues and population loss itself. Once touted as the richest city in the USA, in the past three decades, Hartford has been one of the poorest cities in the country with 30% of the population living below the poverty line and the city being beset by social inequalities and crime.

Hartford however has a lot to offer and it’s a question of civic leaders and city officials to find ways of making the city attractive again. It doesn’t necessarily mean trying to bring in professional teams as they did in the past for hockey, basketball and football. The last professional hockey team, the Hartford Whalers, moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997. Hartford is loaded with a lot of history and architecture it should pride itself on and should build off on. The Memorial Arch is one of them, as with the now buried Mystery Bridge. It’s a question of how to turn the city around and exploit the city’s strength. From there, it’s all uphill from there.

If you have any information on the Mystery Bridge, feel free to use the Contact Details or comment in the section below.  Happy Bridgehunting, folks. 🙂