BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 16


Sometimes when playing with black and white, one can come up with photos that make it look like a season that never existed. This was the case with the Bronner’s Bridge in Frankenmuth in Michigan. Built in 1907 and originally located over Cass River at Dehmel Road, it was relocated to this site at Dead Man’s Creek, just off Michigan Hwy. 83, south of Frankenmuth, in 1982. The bridge is located a quarter mile south of Bronner’s, the world’s largest Christmas shopping department store. While one cannot trespass directly onto the bridge, one can get some shots from the roadside. With Instagram, one can make it even more interesting, like in this pic. 🙂



Mystery Bridge Nr. 104: Trussed Arch Bridge in Indiana


The 104th mystery bridge takes us to Chesterton, Indiana. Spanning Coffee Creek, this is one of the most unusual truss bridges found on record to date because of its design. The bridge is a combination pony arch with riveted Howe truss features as a top chord. Pony arch because of the vertical beams supporting the arched truss spans, each beam is supported by an outrigger. The bridge had six panels total.   Howe truss because of the X-frame design going from end to end in an arched fashion, all of it arched. Unique is the V-laced bracing running along the top part of the arched trusses, something that would have made it to the National Register of Historic Places, had it been left as is.

Records have pointed to the construction date of between 1893 and 1896, which would make this bridge one of the first ever to use riveted truss connections. Local records claim that it was built in 1893 and was located near the cemetary. Others claim that it was located somewhere else along the creek and that the location pointed in was only a guess.  One claim shows that another bridge similar to this one was built in 1895 by the Indiana Bridge Company in Muncie.

This contradictory information leads us to the following questions:

  1. When was this bridge built and where exactly?
  2. Who was the bridge builder for this bridge? Was it the company in Muncie, or was it another company?
  3. How was this bridge built? Was it built using trusses from a demolished building- one of my guesses?
  4. How long did the bridge serve traffic before it was removed?
  5. How many other bridges- if any- existed during this time?

The bridge was estimated to have been between 40 and 60 feet long; the trusses were up to seven feet high and the width was 16 feet wide. Anything else about the bridge depends on how much information a person can provide. If you have some to add, please feel free to comment.

Good luck and let us know more about this bridge.  🙂

Link to the bridge:


Morandi Viaduct to be Replaced


1967 Cable-stayed Suspension Bridge to be replaced in response to the collapse. World-renowned architect to design new bridge.

bhc newsflyer new

GENOA, ITALY- Once one of the darlings of the city’s architectural landscape, Genoa is looking at seeing a new bridge being built soon. The Morandi Viaduct had spanned the valley with railways, streets and a small river going through the city, carrying the Autoroute 10 and E80 for 51 years until the tragedy of 14 August, 2018. There, one of the three towers of the concrete cable-stayed suepension bridge- which was a gap of 210 meters out of the total length of 1,180 meters- gave way during a severe storm, killing 43 people.

Two weeks after the collapse, plans are in the making to tear down the entire structure and replace it with a brand new one. According to information from multiple sources, the Five-Star Government will oversee the construction of a new bridge, to be built at the cost of the previous owner of the Morandi Bridge, the Autostrada Company, which had owned the cable-stayed suspension bridge for over a decade. The cost for rebuilding the bridge is unknown but it is estimated to be in the billions including the cost for removing the old structure.  The reason for the plan is, according to transportation minister Danilo Toninelli, the company owning the bridge had neglected the structure by ignoring the problems involving the concrete stayed cables and the roadway and by financing for the new bridge it would be the best possible way to compensate for the loss of people involved.

The bridge was built by Ricardo Morandi, who was known to have built several concrete cable-stayed suspension bridges during his days as a bridge engineer. One of them, the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in Venezuela that was built in 1964, is the longest bridge of his type in the world. The collapse of the bridge in Genoa. Like the bridge disasters in Minneapolis in 2007 and Seattle in 2015, the collapse of the Genoa Bridge is producing backlash as countries are scrutinizing his works carefully because of concerns involving the concrete cables that are supposed to hold the bridge in place, but failed in Genoa. Yet, like in the two previous disasters, despite all attempts to present the problems involving the bridge in the past decade, they were ignored until it was too late. The problems were ranged from a lack of maintenance to the lack of adaptation to the increase in the volume and weight of traffic in general.  The question is whether Italy will repeat the same mistake made by the US Government in trying to condem certain bridge types but failing due to the high numbers built and rehabbed combined with costs for replacing them. This is Italy’s third bridge failure this year, regardless of bridge type, and its 11th in five years.

The engineer behind the design and construction of Genoa’s replacement is a world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. For almost 50 years, the 81-year old Italian architect, who originates from Genoa, has built several masterpieces, including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Paul Klee Center in Berne, the Shard Tower in London and was the master planner of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. He designed two bridges- one in Chicago and another in Amasuka, Japan. The Genoa Bridge project will be his fourth for his hometown and his third official for the bridge. How he bridge wil be designed and built remains in the air has the plans have been presented by the government. The Chronicles will keep you up to date on the latest stories there.


The large cycle bridge of Maarssen

The large cycle bridge of Maarssen


An easy and convenient way to cross a 10 lane motorway. That is what the cycle bridge in the recreational cycle route Rijnveldsche Pad was meant to be. It makes it possible for people from Maarssen to get across the recently widened motorway A2 (from Utrecht to Amsterdam) to reach the newly developed recreational area at Haarzuilens.

The cycle bridge in the Rijnveldsche Pad at Maarssen. The cycle bridge in the Rijnveldsche Pad at Maarssen.

This part of the A2 motorway, from Utrecht to Amsterdam is one of the oldest freeways in the country. Construction started in the 1930s, but the building activities were stopped in 1942 because of World War II. After the war this road was the first big new 2 x 2 lane road to be finished in 1954. By 1976 it had already been widened to 2 x 3 lanes and from 2008 to 2011 it was to be widened to 2 x 4…

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Mystery Bridge 103: A Hidden Gem near the Mall


The 103rd mystery bridge takes us back to the state of Saxony, but this time to Zwickau. In 2016, I did a tour guide on the city’s bridges because of its history and unique design. This tour guide can be seen here. Regrettably, I missed a few bridges most recently, which may mean an update. This bridge was one of them.

I found this bridge by chance during a bike tour to explore the city. Zwickau is the city that I’m planning on moving to with my family next summer, so it was my duty to find a good place to re-establish the household, not to mention my business of the Chronicles. The bridge is located at Außer Schneeberger Strasse just south of Breithauptstrasse, just behind Glück Auf,  the largest shopping area in Zwickau and the Zwickauer Land region (which includes Aue, Schneeberg, Kirchberg, Glauchau, Stollberg and Hohenstein-Ernstthal). The bridge currently spans a pipeline and runs parallel to an abandoned rail line between the central station and Pöhlau.

Next to the bridge is a steel plate girder span that appears to have been built in the 1970s. The bridge we are looking at is a Town Lattice truss bridge, which appears to have been built in the 1880s. There are three such spans, all of which are supported by stone piers. Each span is about 40 meters long and about 7 meters wide. The truss spans appears to have been painted recently in order to prevent rust and corrosion. The steel span is about 20 meters longer, twice as wide, and appears to have had two tracks at that time. The question we have here is whether the Town Lattice truss bridge was used first as a railroad crossing before it was converted to its current function as a pipeline crossing. This in addition to finding out when exactly it was built and who the builder way.

The map is enclosed below. Do you know more about the bridge? If so, it would be much appreciated if you can share some info. This bridge is easy to miss, yet by foot one should take some time to visit it. Let alone find out more about this missing gem…… 🙂



The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne Switzerland

The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne Switzerland

Rolandomio Travel

Built in 1365, the Chapel Bridge, the landmark and one of the many tourist attractions of the city of Lucerne in Switzerland, is the oldest and second longest covered wooden bridge in Europe. In the gable of the bridge are triangular paintings from the 17th century, which represent important scenes of Swiss history. Every day, thousands of tourists from all over the world cross this bridge, which was largely destroyed and immediately rebuilt after a fire in 1993. For me, a visit of the city Lucerne would be inconceivable without crossing this wooden bridge over the river Reuss which connects the old with the former Neustadt Lucerne.

Chapel Bridge Lucerne Chapel Bridge Lucerne

Die 1365 erbaute Kapellbrücke, das Wahrzeichen und eine der vielen Touristenattraktionen der Stadt Luzern in der Schweiz, ist die älteste und zweitlängste überdachte Holzbrücke Europas. Im Giebel der Brücke sind dreieckige Gemälde aus dem 17. Jahrhundert, die wichtige Szenen der…

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Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Lancashire Past

DSCN6485 Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Before the first bridge was ever built at Edisford this was an important crossing point of the River Ribble. Anyone visiting today can see how shallow parts of the river are here, and that there is a natural ford.  Rivers were often huge barriers in the landscape, and knowledge of the location of the relatively few fords and bridges was essential in medieval times. Foot and cart traffic could pass by fairly easily on the route out of Clitheroe to Lancaster via Edisford.

Fords were also important strategic points and this could be the reason it was the site of a medieval battle, during the turbulent  reign of King Stephen. Civil war gripped England in a period that has come to be known as ‘The Anarchy’. King Stephen’s forces fought a whole series of battles against those of his rival claimant to the English throne, Empress Matilda. The King of Scotland, David I, sided with his…

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 15


While in Niagara Falls on the Ontario side, we have this bridge- The Kingston Arch Bridge, spanning the Niagara River at Interstate 190 and Ontario Provincial Route 405 at the US/ Canada border. This is the newest of the four steel ribbed arch bridges, having been built more than 55 years ago. This bridge still accommodates a lot of traffic crossing the border, yet one can pull off to get a picture before entering the expressway. This one is about to get an accolade from the city chamber of commerce who wishes to use this pic as a promotional campaign.

Let’s see what they will come up with. 😉



Gone But Not Lost: The Bridges of Florence during World War II

Prayers & Piazzas

By late July of 1944, Allied forces were very close to liberating Florence from the Nazis, who had occupied the city for the past year.

“The Allied forces are advancing on Florence,” warned thousands of leaflets dropped by American planes. “The city’s liberation is at hand. Citizens of Florence, you must unite to preserve your city and to defeat our common enemies… Prevent the enemy from detonating mines which they may have placed under bridges…” ¹

But different directives were coming from the German high command to the citizens of Florence. On July 29, 1944, residents along the Arno — around 150,000 people — were warned to leave their homes by noon the next day. Ultimately, the whole area was blocked off, with German paratroops standing guard at various posts.

On August 3, another warning was issued from the German high command: Beginning from this moment, it is prohibited for…

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