Berlin is one of the few metropolitan cities that I did not fall in love with instantly, like Vienna, Paris, Prague, or Delhi. It is a rough city with scorching summers and winters that make you aware of every little bone in your body. The bus drivers are rude, the racism is prevalent, it is incredibly difficult to find an affordable apartment for under 900EUR/month, and so on, BUT if you are into art, photography and theatre, it is incredible. Not to mention that the sheer amount of bridges in Berlin will give Paris and Venice a run for their money.
Here’s the thing, for every rough and drab neighbourhood, there is a wonderful park around the corner to balance things out, and you are never far from…
This week’s pic is a taste of what we will have in the coming weeks. Christmas and snow go together like bread and butter. And if you have a fancy bridge, like the Chemnitz Viaduct, in the mix, it makes for photography in winter wonderland. This pic was taken after a snowstorm in January 2017.
HOLT, MICHIGAN/ GRINELL, IOWA- The long-awaited documentary by Ultimate Restorations on historic truss bridge restoration is now available for viewing at www.ultimaterestorations.com or Amazon Prime. Featuring the 1874 Springfield Des-Arc Bridge, an historic King Iron Bridge Co. bowstring truss in Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas, the two episodes document how an engineer, craftsmen, two nonprofits, a city, county and state worked together to save a rare historic bridge in the USA. Local screening are also being scheduled.
Bach Steel of Holt and St. Johns, Michigan provided the iron restoration expertise. The craftsmen, Nels Raynor, Derek Pung, Brock Raynor and Lee Pung put their backs into this project from riveting to pack rust removal, repairing splice plates, lifting and resetting old iron. Jim Schiffer, PE of Schiffer Group Engineering, Traverse City, Michigan. (SGI) worked with Bach Steel to detail the repairs. SGI also engineered the caissons by request from Julie Bowers at Workin’ Bridges who just didn’t want to see another concrete abutment for the historic truss. “These are the kinds of projects we relish. The reuse and preservation of durable cast and wrought iron and steel, that are still serviceable with a little coaxing, to recreate elegant functional forms that the communities can enjoy is really fun. These are the projects that we enjoy applying our technical experience and training to bring to successful completion.” stated Jim Schiffer after viewing the video. Though you don’t see him in the site work, without his engineering neither Workin’ Bridges nor Bach Steel would be able to act on these jobs.
Working with the City of Conway and Faulkner County, the planning and iron work for the restoration of this bowstring took well over a year after lifting it from the North Fork of the Cadron River. The bridge was restored and reset at Lake Beaverfork in August of 2016. The project began, however, with a site visit in 2010 to discuss the potential of the oldest road bridge in Arkansas, also a King Iron bridge. The project required the aid of the Prof. Kenneth Barnes, then a director of the Faulkner County Historic Society to continue raising the awareness that this vintage bridge needed help. Many of these stories can be seen on the video.
Bach Steel has worked on over 40 historic bridge projects across the country, winning awards for their work in Texas, Michigan and Arkansas since the 1990s. “The Springfield Bridge tells a story of one of the projects that we started with Workin’ Bridges in 2010 and it took years to fund it. There are so many bridges across the country that can be restored but it takes political will, our engineer, money and us to get it done….and big cranes!” stated Nels Raynor at the shop in St. Johns.
Ultimate Restorations produced the shows out of the bay area. Producer Terry Strauss along with Executive Producers Bill Hersey, Loren Lovgren, and Bob McNeil have documented the restoration of some of America’s beloved treasures. “The story of this bridge is what Ultimate Restorations is all about. The vision to save the iconic pieces of our history that would otherwise be lost, plus the skills, passion and talent to bring them back to life. Walking over that bridge, is like being told a story, reminding us of who we are and where we’ve been.” said Terry Strauss, who directed the film in Arkansas. More info at www.ultimaterestorations.com. You can view the Ultimate Restorations episodes on our bridge restoration as well as the full Season 2 of Ultimate Restorations on Amazon Prime with1874 Des-Arc Springfield Bridge Part 1: Moving Day and Part 2: Another Hundred Years at https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B07ZZZJ8D5/ref=atv_dp
One of the red-carpet premieres of Springfield Bridge documentary will be at 2 pm on Sunday, November 24, 2019 in Burlington, Iowa at the restored Capital Theater. Community screening dates are also being pursued in Conway, Arkansas, Lansing / Traverse City, Michigan and Grinnell, Iowa and will be announced soon.
Questions and screening requests can be addressed to Julie Bowers at 641.260.1262 – firstname.lastname@example.org. You can access more information on the web at www.workinbridges.org and on Facebook at Workin’ Bridges, www.bachsteel.com and on Facebook at Bach Steel and www.schiffergroup.com. Restoration photos can be seen at Springfield Bridge on Facebook where the process was also documented.
While you are doing the quiz on the Bridges along the Inner-German border, I’d like to share with you the highlights from the 25th anniversary celebrations in 2014 and how it was broadcasted during that day.
November 9th 1989: The day that changed the world. Growing up in the 1980s, many of us were used to news coverage on the Cold War, the conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union, using Germany as their chess board. And it was no wonder: Germany was divided, along with its capital, Berlin. However, the Fall of the Wall on this day 25 years ago changed that. We became curious about the other side of the world that was once closed off for many years. When the East German Government announced the opening of the gate, the news reached the airwaves almost instantly. I had an opportunity to collect some news stories of the events to be posted on this day. And no matter the news coverage, the pictures were clear: The borders must go and the two Germanys must reunite. Have a look at the clips and see…
And now, after having looked and guessed at the bridges, here are the answers to the Guessing Quiz on whether the following bridges were part of the borders or not. 🙂
Please note that information on the correct answers pertaining to the “border” bridges can be found in the links highlighted. Some of these bridges were documented by the Chronicles earlier in the year.
GUESSING QUIZ: THE BRIDGES ALONG THE BORDER
When the border and the Berlin Wall went up, many of the bridges that made up the border between the Federal Republic of Germany (West) and the German Democratic Republic (East) were closed down or even removed. Only a handful of crossings remained open but under stringent control by the East German border guards, to ensure that no one left the country who was not supposed to.
The question is: Which bridges were affected? Look at the pictures below, determine if they were borders or not by marking Yes or No, and state your reason why by identifying where they are located. Borders meant that the bridges were either shut down to all passage or were under strict control by the East German army. The 16 German states are listed below to help you. Good luck! 🙂
Y / N
Where? This bridge spans the River Elbe near the village of Dömritz at the Lower Saxony- Mecklenburg/Pommeranian border. This used to be a railroad crossing, the longest of its kind over the River Elbe.
Y / N
Where? This is located at the border between Berlin and Brandenburg near the town of Potsdam. The Glienicke Bridge was once known as the Bridge of Spies because of the spy exchanges that happened between 1961 and 1989.
Y / N
Where? This is located in Jena in Thuringia- The Alte Burgauer Brücke spanning the River Saale
Y / N
Where? This bridge is located in Oranienburg (Brandenburg)- The Queen Luisa Bridge.
Y / N
Where? This bridge spans the River Elbe in Lauenburg (Schleswig-Holstein), located 3 km west of the three-state corner where S-H, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Pommerania are located. It connects Lower Saxony with S-H.
Where? This is the Hirschberg Bridge spanning the River Saale between the Thuringian town and Untertiefengrün (Bavaria)
Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Pommerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia
Answers will come on November 9th, the same day as the Fall of the Wall. 🙂
Check out the Flensburg Files and follow the updates pertaining to the 30th anniversary celebrations. There are lots of articles that have been written on this topic, including former border crossings and videos, just to name a few. As a hint, some of the answers to this quiz lie both there as well as here.
LONDON- The Blackfriars Railroad Bridge and its twin the Blackfriars Road Bridge, spanning the River Thames in London, are two of the oldest bridges still in operation. There’s not much mentioned on these two bridges aside from their history, yet there was one aspiring venture that was done on the railroad portion of the bridge which has not only revitalized the structure but has made it a popular attraction. Furthermore, this restoration and modernization of the bridge has set the precedent for finding creative ways to use renewable energy. The bridge is one of three in the world that is now powered by solar energy. In CNN’s Future Cities, the host of the show tells us why.
MENA, ARKANSAS- Polk County, Arkansas has a historic bridge for sale. Built in 1915, the structure has a riveted steel Pratt pony truss design, with timber stringers and a wooden deck. The parameters of the bridge is 72 feet long and 11.67 feet wide between the trusses. It has been closed for several years, but the structure can be found on Polk County Road 50 near Old Sale Barn in Potter. Takers of the bridge must take it as is, and it must be removed and transported by licensed contractor with commercial general liability insurance. This is part of the plan to remove the truss bridge and replace it with a new structure. How the truss bridge is repurposed is dependent on the new owner.
Sealed bids will be accepted prior to the auction at 9AM on November 25, 2019 in the basement of the Polk County Courthouse. The courthouse is located at 507 Church AVE, Mena, AR 71953. Bids should be delivered in a sealed envelope and clearly marked “Polk County Road 50 bridge”. The bidder with the acceptable amount will retain responsibilities for the truss bridge, including relocation, restoration and repurposing. Funding may be available to offset the costs. Inquiries should be made to Polk County Judge, Brandon Ellison at 479-394-8133.