BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 3

röhrensteg2

The first one since the elimination of the areavoices website and subsequentially, the reforming of the Chronicles on this wordpress site to include the articles from the now, I would like to take us to Zwickau again and to this bridge- or what is left of it if looking at it differently. The Röhrensteg is the oldest covered Bridge both in Saxony as well as in Germany. It was built more than 500 years ago and rebuilt in 1790 to its present-day form- that is before it was dismantled for restoration. All that exists at the present time is a scaffold crossing the river with the center span in tact. The bridge restoration was supposed to be completed by the end of this month. According to the Free Press in Chemnitz, the deadline to finish the restoration has been pushed back to the end of August.

Why?

According to officials, the bridge decking is completely warped to the right side, making the use of the original Wood for restoration nearly impossible. Furthermore, in order to keep to the standards of the German Preservation Laws (Denkmalschutz), a special form of wood is needed to replace the original ones that are rotted and cannot be reused. That is expensive and hard to obtain in the case of this bridge.  Residents have complained of the bridge being empty with only a scaffold and no workers. Yet when looking at bridge preservation, in most cases, historic structures are dismantled, sandblasted and repainted, with some parts being replaced. The restoration is usually done offsite and in a building where it is climate controlled and the parts are protected from the weather extremities. This is the case for this bridge given the fact that it had survived everything possible for over 220 years since its reconstruction.

Therefore, residents will have to forego the bridge for this summer, even as Zwickau celebrates its 900th anniversary of its existence. However, with all this time and effort restoring a piece of history known to Zwickau for half its lifetime, the restoration will be worth it, even if it is like it is right now.

röhrensteg1

bhc-logo-newest1

Advertisements

Iron Bridge at Aue Closed for Rehabilitation

iron bridge aue 2

bhc newsflyer new

Two-span iron truss span over the Mulde River one of eight crossings facing construction in the next year.

AUE (SAXONY), GERMANY- Construction is heating up this summer as many roads and highways in Germany are being reconstructed, retaining walls in the mountain regions are being rehabilitated and dozens of bridges are being restored to their former glory. The most striking is the fact that not just one, two or three bridges, but as many as nine bridges spanning the River Mulde in western Saxony are being scheduled for work in one way or another. Apart from building a new cable-stayed suspension bridge at Schlunzig (south of Glauchau), three bridges in Glauchau alone are being beautified, including the Hirschgrund at the castle complex, 400 meters from the river. The oldest covered Bridge in Zwickau (the Röhrensteg) is being restored and is taking longer than expected.  The Cainsdorf Bridge south of Zwickau is being planned for replacement.  Everyone knows about the Bockau Arch Bridge replacement project near Aue and its pending future after the new bridge opens next year. Then we have a crossing at the Eibenstock Reservoir, built in 1980, plus the 151-year old stone arch bridge in Wilkau-Hasslau that have cracks in the concrete and will need to be closed for repairs, forcing drivers to make detours of over 25 kilometers per bridge.

iron bridge aue 1

And then we have this bridge- a pedestrian bridge between Schlema and Aue that is now closed to all traffic. Workers recently closed the over 115-year old structure as they plan to rehabilitate the two-span Parker through truss span, whose predecessor was a wooden covered bridge. According to the Free Press in Aue, the decking of the bridge will be rebuilt and then integrated into the Mulde Bike Trail network. The trail itself is in the middle of construction and when completed this fall, it will run parallel to the river from Aue to Schlema, crossing the Iron Bridge. It currently shares a street connecting the two communities, but sharp curves and steep hills make it dangerous for cyclists and drivers alike. The catch to the problem however is with the railroad crossing. Because the current gates, used for pedestrians, are not suitable for cyclists, officials are looking at three options, all of them will cost as much as the project itself, which is 500,000 Euros (ca. $620,000).  The first option is a modern railroad crossing guards like at the train station Bad Schlema. Another is a tunnel under the railroad tracks, which will require multiple closures of the rail line between Aue and Zwickau. And then there is a bridge that would cross over the tracks before gliding down towards the historic structure. Officials believe the third variant would be built and open by 2019. In either case while the bridge renovations may be cheap, the solution for the railroad crossing on the east end may be the one that could break the bank. Still, when the project is finish, cyclists can go from Eibenstock to Schlema without having any interruptions with detours, etc. There is hope that this stretch can be extended to Hartenstein (five river kilometers from Schlema), which would include restoring the Schlema Stone Arch Bridge. But because of lack of funding, chances are likely that after the fusion between Aue and Schlema, financial resources will be available to make both projects happen. The interest is there but in praxis, it is a different ball game.

But for now, the Aue-Schlema has priority while the story continues with the other stretch….

bhc-logo-newest1

End of the Line for AreaVoices

Author’s Note: The Flensburg Files and the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles are both undergoing some massive consolidation and reconstruction efforts due to the planned shutdown of its areavoices platform effective 15 May. This includes transferring old articles and tour guides onto the wordpress websites and opening a new platform for readers having been forced to follow both blogs through a new platform. Do not be surprised to see old articles popping up during the next 2-4 weeks as this project commences. We apologise for any inconveniences in this matter.  Details on why this is happening are found below. 

bab2

The Flensburg Files and The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles’ AreaVoices websites to permanently shut down on May 15th, 2018. Their wordpress pages will remain open. Restructuring to commence immediately

Dear fellow readers, followers, fans, family  and friends,

For the past eight years, I have had the privilege to provide you with some stories, history, facts and cultural aspects for you to mull over and discuss, let alone share with others. I have also had an opportunity to meet many of you, both online as well as in person, learning new things and bettering myself and my two blogs. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles and the Flensburg Files were launched almost simultaneously in October 2010. The Chronicles focused on historic bridges, providing people with a tour of regions laden with them and tips on how to preserve them for years to come. The Files focused on German-American culture and current events from the author’s perspective with a small pocket of stories originating from the northernmost region in Germany, where my heritage comes from and where I spent lots of time up there. It took the likes of Kari Lucin, Tracy Briggs-Jensen, Todd Wilson, Tony Dillon, James Baughn and others like you to get the blogs launched (although I do say they are online-columns because they are homemade and served with a little food for thought). Despite having websites on historic bridges, the Chronicles was the first blog to be introduced that solely focused on historic bridges. The Files was one of the first for German-American culture.  A lot of success has been raked up in the almost eight years in the blogging business.

Sadly though, I received word from the mother firm, Forum Communications, based in Fargo (USA) that the AreaVoices platform will shut down completely, effective 15th May 2018. And with that, the Files and the Chronicles will also cease on AreaVoices websites. The reason for their decision was the plan to create public-face media and a new CMS format, which means all the energies will be focused away from AV and onto the newer form of media. More information can be found here in their news story.  The shut down is as painful as the giant retailers BonTon and Toys R Us shuttering their doors and with that, all their subsidiaries, like Herberger’s, Younker’s and Carson’s.  However, not everything is as bad as it seems.

The good news is that both the Files and the Chronicles will still have their wordpress websites, at least. They were launched in 2015 to expand to a wider audience outside the United States. They will continue to operate as is. The same applies to their facebook pages, twitter accounts, the Files’ tumblr website and the Chronicles’ Instagram page.  For those who are subscribed to the AreaVoices pages of one of the two or both, you should switch platforms immediately and subscribe to the sites that will remain in operation. The pages are below:

The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLBHAVSmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bridgehunters_chronicles17/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBridgehuntersChronicles/

 

The Flensburg Files: https://flensburgerfiles.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ffjds13

Tumblr: https://the-flensburg-files-smith.tumblr.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Flensburg-Files-421034214594622/

 

Yet what will happen next?  Because of the announcement of the shutdown, the first order of business is to save all the work that has been written since 2010- which is a good 800 or so- and transfer them all to the wordpress sites, as well as another blog platform. This ranges from bridge tours and Christmas markets to interviews and fast facts; genres to history, cultural themes to current events.  Some of the articles that are deemed redundant will be deleted. This work of sorting and transferring will probably take the longest and be the most intensive, but it is expected to be completed before 15 May.  Because of this, both wordpress sites will need to be restructured so that the categories are easier to see and the articles are accessible to all.

An additional blog platform for both will be sought after and established to provide better coverage. While AreaVoices provided some of the best platforms available, my intention is to look at all options, including newspapers that also allow for blogs to be open, as it was the case with the Forum newspapers with AV. While it may be possible to work together with Forum regarding the new program they are putting together, other newspapers, both in the States and abroad are being considered for a joint venture, including the Free Press in Chemnitz, with whom the Chronicles has work together on several bridge articles. Also the Flensborg Avis on the Danish end of Flensburg may be considered. Furthermore, a photo platform to replace the flickr page will be added to ensure that all photos taken will be posted there. The current flickr page, which I can no longer access because of an expired yahoo account will remain and accessed but as an archived website.

So the end of AreaVoices is also the beginning of a revolution that will usher in the newest generation of 3.0 technology with blogging. While AV is riding off into the sunset soon, the articles will be saved and stored accordingly, and newer technology will mean better coverage and new topics that will be published more quickly and discussed by many, be it bridges, German-American themes or other items.  I hope you understand the situation and that you still can continue to follow both blogs. Just please understand that after 15 May, AreaVoices will be a memory, but the two blogs will live on in a different form.  To the crew at Forum Communications and AreaVoices, I offer my thanks for the cooperation we had for the eight years we had together and in case we part, I wish you all the best and Godspeed.

 

Important!

Because of the reconstruction process, no new articles will be posted until the project is completed. This could take between two and six weeks to complete. For both wordpress sites, older articles from the AV sites will be added to ensure they are not lost. But they will be categorized so that you can access them. If you see articles from the past you will know why.  It will be business as usual for the other social network sites, meaning articles from external sources will continue to be posted, as well as photos taken by the author.

You will be notified once the project is finished with a new feature article of what has been done with the Files and Chronicles. In the meantime, please be patient. There’s a lot of work to do.

 

 

Waltz Road Bridge to be replaced; new bridge expected to be open by end of 2018

Bad news out of the States: A unique two-span Camelback pony truss bridge in Michigan is cming down this year. A unique one that will be mised by many in the region. More from the Huron Hub here……

The Huron Hub - New Boston News

The Waltz Road Bridge, pictured here, will be replaced and is estimated to be open by the end of 2018, according to Wayne County.

By Scott Bolthouse — Hub Editor — ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Wayne County announced Wednesday that the Waltz Road Bridge will undergo a full replacement which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The county closed the nearly 100-year-old bridge on June 1 after an inspection found the bridge bearings had deteriorated to the point that it was deemed unsafe to keep open.

Further inspection also revealed that the bridge deck and steel supports were also in need of repair.

The county said that it reviewed both repair and replacement options and decided replacement offers the longest life for the bridge while being the most cost effective.

The county estimates that replacement gives the bridge a 60-year life span at an estimated cost of $5.4 million.

Repairing…

View original post 143 more words

Eger Bridge Near Reichenbach to Be Rehabbed

31179408_1864012003629440_6849762608443031552_o

Stone arch Bridge from the 1800s to be remodeled and connected to the regional bike Trail.

REICHENBACH (VOGTLAND), SAXONY (GERMANY)-  Not far from the battleground crossing at Bockau (near Aue) is another historic bridge that one of the committee members recommended me to visit. Spanning the River Göltzsch, which is the same river that is crossed by the Göltzsch Viaduct near Greiz, the Eger Bridge is located in the village of Mühlwand, approximately three kilometers from Reichenbach and just as many kilometers away from the Motorway 72 Viaduct. This structure was built in 1769, replacing three previous spans that had been constructed in 1573, 1755 and 1758, respectively, all made of wood. The bridge is a two-span stone arch structure with a span of 20 meters; two arch spans have a lengths of 8 meters and 3.6 meters, whereas the width is 5.25 meters. It has been redundant because of the concrete span that was built alongside it in 1987 but had been left open for pedestrians to use until a pair of floods caused extansive damage to the arches in 2002 and 2013; the latter forced the closure of the bridge to everyone. Upon my visit to the bridge most recently, one can see the extent of the damage to the structure, where the concrete railings have fallen apart and the stones used for the arches are exposed. It is a surprise that the bridge did not collapse earlier like it happened in Great Britain during the infamous Christmas Day floods of 2015.

eger4
The replacement span on the left.

Even more of a surprise is the amount of support the locals have for saving the bridge. As recently as January of this year, members of the local town councils in Reichenbach and the surrounding areas, together with the Saxony Ministry of Business and Transportation voted in favor of renovating the bridge, at a cost of 1.5 Million Euros. This includes the cost for constructing the approach to the bridge, connecting the structure with a nearby bike trail approximately 200 meters away. The costs will be shared through a private-public partnership between the state, a private Entity L.I.S.T Inc., and the City of Reichenbach, who will take over ownership of the bridge once the project is completed. How the bridge will be renovated remains unclear, but it appears that the structure will have to be rebuilt from the ground up, as it has been seen with many arch bridges in eastern Germany- the Camsdorf Bridge in Jena, which was done in 2005, and the upcoming project with the Hirschgrund Bridge at the Castle Complex in Glauchau. Private and public partnerships are becoming the norm for bridge Building in both Germany as well as the US, where public and private entities join together to share the costs for projects like this one. There are some advantages and disadvantages to the project, which will be saved for a separate article. However one can say the cost for renovating the bridge depends on not only the size of the structure, but to what extent does the bridge need to be fixed. In the case of the Eger Bridge, as the damage is extensive, the cost can be much higher than the cost for simply redoing the decking.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Still, the renovation of the Eger Bridge is a blessing for the region, and especially for the Göltzsch Valley, for there are over three dozen stone arch bridges, big and small, spanning the river. This makes for a treat for bikers who are using the bike trail that runs parallel to the river and used to be a rail line connecting Greiz with Cheb (Eger) in the Czech Republic.  For this bridge, there is a lot of history to learn about this, which thanks to this PPP initiative, will be preserved for vistors in Germany, Europe and Areas outside there.

fast fact logo

Some interesting Facts about the Eger Bridge include the following:

  1. The bridge used to serve an interregional road connecting Altenburg (Thuringia) with Cheb (Eger) in the Czech Republic. It was a major trading route in the Vogtland region.
  2. The bridge was used many times by Napoleon’s Army during his conquest from 1806 to 1814- Napoleon himself crossed the bridge on 12 May, 1812 and again on 3 August, 1813.
  3. It was a major stop for the horse-and-buggy passenger and postal express during the first half of the 1800s. That route connected Dresden and Leipzig with Cheb and Nuremberg. It was equivalent to the Pony Express in the States (1861-65)
  4. It was located next to the Alaunawerk, which was a beer tavern beginning in 1703 but was converted into a restaurant afterwards. It burned to the ground in 1853, but the stone wall along the river next to the bridge remains.

Map:

 

bhc-logo-newest1

Eger Bridge near Reichenbach to be Rehabbed

31179408_1864012003629440_6849762608443031552_o

Stone arch Bridge from the 1800s to be remodeled and connected to the regional bike Trail.

REICHENBACH (VOGTLAND), SAXONY (GERMANY)-  Not far from the battleground crossing at Bockau (near Aue) is another historic bridge that one of the committee members recommended me to visit. Spanning the River Göltzsch, which is the same river that is crossed by the Göltzsch Viaduct near Greiz, the Eger Bridge is located in the village of Mühlwand, approximately three kilometers from Reichenbach and just as many kilometers away from the Motorway 72 Viaduct. This structure was built in 1769, replacing three previous spans that had been constructed in 1573, 1755 and 1758, respectively, all made of wood. The bridge is a two-span stone arch structure with a span of 20 meters; two arch spans have a lengths of 8 meters and 3.6 meters, whereas the width is 5.25 meters. It has been redundant because of the concrete span that was built alongside it in 1987 but had been left open for pedestrians to use until a pair of floods caused extansive damage to the arches in 2002 and 2013; the latter forced the closure of the bridge to everyone. Upon my visit to the bridge most recently, one can see the extent of the damage to the structure, where the concrete railings have fallen apart and the stones used for the arches are exposed. It is a surprise that the bridge did not collapse earlier like it happened in Great Britain during the infamous Christmas Day floods of 2015.

eger4
The replacement span on the left.

Even more of a surprise is the amount of support the locals have for saving the bridge. As recently as January of this year, members of the local town councils in Reichenbach and the surrounding areas, together with the Saxony Ministry of Business and Transportation voted in favor of renovating the bridge, at a cost of 1.5 Million Euros. This includes the cost for constructing the approach to the bridge, connecting the structure with a nearby bike trail approximately 200 meters away. The costs will be shared through a private-public partnership between the state, a private Entity L.I.S.T Inc., and the City of Reichenbach, who will take over ownership of the bridge once the project is completed. How the bridge will be renovated remains unclear, but it appears that the structure will have to be rebuilt from the ground up, as it has been seen with many arch bridges in eastern Germany- the Camsdorf Bridge in Jena, which was done in 2005, and the upcoming project with the Hirschgrund Bridge at the Castle Complex in Glauchau. Private and public partnerships are becoming the norm for bridge Building in both Germany as well as the US, where public and private entities join together to share the costs for projects like this one. There are some advantages and disadvantages to the project, which will be saved for a separate article. However one can say the cost for renovating the bridge depends on not only the size of the structure, but to what extent does the bridge need to be fixed. In the case of the Eger Bridge, as the damage is extensive, the cost can be much higher than the cost for simply redoing the decking.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Still, the renovation of the Eger Bridge is a blessing for the region, and especially for the Göltzsch Valley, for there are over three dozen stone arch bridges, big and small, spanning the river. This makes for a treat for bikers who are using the bike trail that runs parallel to the river and used to be a rail line connecting Greiz with Cheb (Eger) in the Czech Republic.  For this bridge, there is a lot of history to learn about this, which thanks to this PPP initiative, will be preserved for vistors in Germany, Europe and Areas outside there.

fast fact logo

Some interesting Facts about the Eger Bridge include the following:

  1. The bridge used to serve an interregional road connecting Altenburg (Thuringia) with Cheb (Eger) in the Czech Republic. It was a major trading route in the Vogtland region.
  2. The bridge was used many times by Napoleon’s Army during his conquest from 1806 to 1814- Napoleon himself crossed the bridge on 12 May, 1812 and again on 3 August, 1813.
  3. It was a major stop for the horse-and-buggy passenger and postal express during the first half of the 1800s. That route connected Dresden and Leipzig with Cheb and Nuremberg. It was equivalent to the Pony Express in the States (1861-65)
  4. It was located next to the Alaunawerk, which was a beer tavern beginning in 1703 but was converted into a restaurant afterwards. It burned to the ground in 1853, but the stone wall along the river next to the bridge remains.

Map:

 

bhc-logo-newest1

End of the Line for Area Voices

bab2

The Flensburg Files and The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles’ AreaVoices websites to permanently shut down on May 15th, 2018. Their wordpress pages will remain open. Restructuring to commence immediately

Dear fellow readers, followers, fans, family  and friends,

For the past eight years, I have had the privilege to provide you with some stories, history, facts and cultural aspects for you to mull over and discuss, let alone share with others. I have also had an opportunity to meet many of you, both online as well as in person, learning new things and bettering myself and my two blogs. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles and the Flensburg Files were launched almost simultaneously in October 2010. The Chronicles focused on historic bridges, providing people with a tour of regions laden with them and tips on how to preserve them for years to come. The Files focused on German-American culture and current events from the author’s perspective with a small pocket of stories originating from the northernmost region in Germany, where my heritage comes from and where I spent lots of time up there. It took the likes of Kari Lucin, Tracy Briggs-Jensen, Todd Wilson, Tony Dillon, James Baughn and others like you to get the blogs launched (although I do say they are online-columns because they are homemade and served with a little food for thought). Despite having websites on historic bridges, the Chronicles was the first blog to be introduced that solely focused on historic bridges. The Files was one of the first for German-American culture.  A lot of success has been raked up in the almost eight years in the blogging business.

Sadly though, I received word from the mother firm, Forum Communications, based in Fargo (USA) that the AreaVoices platform will shut down completely, effective 15th May 2018. And with that, the Files and the Chronicles will also cease as AreaVoices websites. The reason for their decision was the plan to create public-face media and a new CMS format, which means all the energies will be focused away from AV and onto the newer form of media. More information can be found here in their news story.  The shut down is as painful as the giant retailers BonTon and Toys R Us shuttering their doors and with that, all their subsidiaries, like Herberger’s, Younker’s and Carson’s.  However, not everything is as bad as it seems.

Both the Files and the Chronicles still have their woodpress websites, at least. They were launched in 2015 to expand to a wider audience outside the United States. They will continue to operate as is. The same applies to their facebook pages, twitter accounts, the Files’ tumblr website and the Chronicles’ Instagram page.  For those who are subscribed to the AreaVoices pages of one of the two or both, you should switch platforms immediately and subscribe to the sites that will remain in operation. The pages are below:

The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLBHAVSmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bridgehunters_chronicles17/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBridgehuntersChronicles/

 

The Flensburg Files: https://flensburgerfiles.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ffjds13

Tumblr: https://the-flensburg-files-smith.tumblr.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Flensburg-Files-421034214594622/

 

Yet what will happen next?  Because of the announcement of the shutdown, the first order of business is to save all the work that has been written since 2010- which is a good 800 or so- and transfer them all to the wordpress sites, as well as another blog platform. This ranges from bridge tours and Christmas markets to interviews and fast facts; genres to history, cultural themes to current events.  Some of the articles that are deemed redundant will be deleted. This work of sorting and transferring will probably take the longest and be the most intensive, but it is expected to be completed before 15 May.  Because of this, both wordpress sites will need to be restructured so that the categories are easier to see and the articles are accessible to all.

An additional blog platform for both will be sought after and established to provide better coverage. While AreaVoices provided some of the best platforms available, my intention is to look at all options, including newspapers that also allow for blogs to be open, as it was the case with the Forum newspapers with AV. While it may be possible to work together with Forum regarding the new program they are putting together, other newspapers, both in the States and abroad are being considered for a joint venture, including the Free Press in Chemnitz, with whom the Chronicles has work together on several bridge articles. Also the Flensborg Avis on the Danish end of Flensburg may be considered. Furthermore, a photo platform to replace the flickr page will be added to ensure that all photos taken will be posted there. The current flickr page, which I can no longer access because of an expired yahoo account will remain and accessed but as an archived website.

So the end of AreaVoices is also the beginning of a revolution that will usher in the newest generation of 3.0 technology with blogging. While AV is riding off into the sunset soon, the articles will be saved and stored accordingly, and newer technology will mean better coverage and new topics that will be published more quickly and discussed by many, be it bridges, German-American themes or other items.  I hope you understand the situation and that you still can continue to follow both blogs. Just please understand that after 15 May, AreaVoices will be a memory, but the two blogs will live on in a different form.  To the crew at Forum Communications and AreaVoices, I offer my thanks for the cooperation we had for the eight years we had together and in case we part, I wish you all the best and Godspeed.

 

Important!

Because of the reconstruction process, no new articles will be posted until the project is completed. This could take between two and six weeks to complete. For both wordpress sites, older articles from the AV sites will be added to ensure they are not lost. But they will be categorized so that you can access them. If you see articles from the past you will know why.  It will be business as usual for the other social network sites, meaning articles from external sources will continue to be posted, as well as photos taken by the author.

You will be notified once the project is finished with a new feature article of what has been done with the Files and Chronicles. In the meantime, please be patient. There’s a lot of work to do.