Another Flöha Bridge Under the Knife?

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Through Arch Bridge over the River Zschopau Facing Unknown Fate After Inspection Finds the 16-year old Structure Unsafe for Use.

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NIEDERWIESA/ FLÖHA- Not even two weeks after fire destroyed the Apfelsinenbrücke (Orange Bridge) in Flöha, another bridge two miles down river along the River Zschopau may be facing the same wrecking ball. The Braunsdorf Pedestrian Bridge, located over the River Zschopau south of the Weaver Mill, is a wooden through arch bridge with steel features. The top chord Features a subdivided Warren truss design which zigzags from portal to portal, which is typical for many through arches of its kind in Germany.  The bridge connects Braunsdorf with Niederwiesa via a small  island, which carries a bike and pedestrian path. The 40-meter long, 2 meter wide bridge was erected in 2002, shortly after the Great Flood which wreaked havoc on every river in Germany, causing hundreds of billions in damages as well as the destruction of dozens of historic bridges. This includes the Fünferbrücke, two kilometers north of the bridge which connected Braunsdorf with the Lichtenwalde Castle.

During my recent visit in the region, the bridge appeared to have a modern built and seemed to be safe for use, even though a stone at each entrance discourages the use of the bridge.

Yet according to an inspection done by a local engineering firm, the bridge is unsafe for use because of components that have been compromised and need replacement. Furthermore, the decking needs to be replaced completely, despite it being sound, judging by observations. The abutments and other components are covered with moss and the arch itself has not been painted or even varnished. In an interview with the Chemnitz Free Press, the town council of Niederwiesa (which Braunsdorf belongs to) confirmed that the bridge has not been maintained properly and are now facing a big bill for the work that needs to be done.

Since the parts are replaceable and the bridge can be painted, the cost for rehabilitation would be 378,000 Euros (In US terms: $420,000). Yet the council is also considering replacing the bridge with a steel structure which would be 500,000 Euros (or $610,000), even though the arch structure is only 16 years old and very modern.

What would you prefer if you were a member of the town council of Niederwiesa?

 

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Niederwiesa is only two river kilometers northeast of Flöha but is an independent entity which Braunsdorf belongs to. The community with 5,000 inhabitants is located 13 kilometers east of Chemnitz.

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White River Bridge at Forsyth Downed By Explosives

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Photo taken by James Baughn

FORSYTH, MISSOURI-   It was one of the most majestic historic bridges in the Bull Shoals Lake area; one of the longest along the White River; one of the favorites for the town of Forsyth, in Taney County, Missouri. Now the old historic Forsyth Bridge, a five-span, riveted Parker through truss bridge, with West Virginia-style Portal bracings, which had graced the lake for 65 years is no more. It took not more than three seconds to bring the entire bridge down on 16 October, 2018 with hundreds of locals standing by to bid the structure farewell. Several films showed the Implosion from multiple angles, two of which can be seen here:

 

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The Forsyth Bridge was built by the Maxwell Bridge Company in 1953, two years after the lake and dam were completed, which was designed to Control the flow of the White River and foster recreation and tourism. This bridge, together with the Theodosia Bridge in Ozark County, are the only two bridges that were built by this company. Because of its lake size, both bridges can be found in the Long Shoals Lake area, along with a few more structures, as will be seen in a tour guide coming soon. Prior to the replacement bridge being built alongside the truss bridge complex, the bridge was rated as structurally fair, meaning the bridge would have fit the requirements for being left into place. Despite being determined not eligible for listing by the National Register of Historic Places, the Forsyth Bridge was offered to the City by Missouri Department of Transportation to be used as a pedestrian crossing. The Mayor however declined MoDOT’s offer for liability reasons, which signaled the green light for demolition- the action which still has left a bitter taste in the mouths of locals, historians and preservationists who had been involved in the efforts to save the bridge, but unfortunately were left empty handed.

The demolition of the Forsysth Bridge leads to the question of the future of the other bridges in the area, for although the lake area is protected by federal law in many parts, the dismantling of regulations through the Trump Administration may lead to the opening of the area for land development, which could mean more traffic and the more likely chance of more modern bridges needed in the area. But before that was to take place, the president may need to brace himself for the “blue wave” which could take hold in November as the Democrats are poised to take Washington back from the Republicans. Should that happen, then areas like this will be left as is, and with that, the historic bridges in the area because of the rollbacks of regulations that had existed before 2017. But we will see if it happens and what it would mean to the Long Shoals Lake area.

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