A Thousand Miles of History XXXXIII: Twin bridges…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

We were nearing the end of the road across Dartmoor and it was definitely time for refreshments. This was handy, as I wanted to stop anyway… and we could not leave Devon without at least one cream tea, even if we were only passing through and although it was only mid-afternoon. Luckily, I knew just the place. Not only would there be scones with jam, cream and a nice pot of tea, but there just happened to be a couple of things I wanted to photograph.

Postbridge is situated where the road across Dartmoor crosses the East Dart River. The water flows dark and golden from the moor where it rises near Whitehorse Hill, tumbling over boulders or smooth as silk in quiet pools. Not all is as tranquil as it seems, though, for it is here that you are most likely to encounter the ghostly Hairy Hands grabbing your…

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The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge: Film and Documentary

港珠澳(近澳门)
Source: By N509FZ [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia CommonsBy N509FZ [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons
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HONG KONG/ MACAU/ ZHUHAI (CHINA)- The idea took 35 years to bear fruit. It took nine years to build. And the idea came from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Now the 55 kilometer bridge is open, connecting Hong Kong  on one end and Zhuhai (China) and Macau on the other.  The HMZ Bridge was dedicated to traffic today, with over 700 officials attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony that would allow traffic to cross the bridge for the first time ever.  Consisting of three different cable-stayed suspension bridges, over 29 kilometers of main bridge spans and 6.7 kilometers of undersea tunnel, plus the remaining kilometers for approach spans, this bridge provides direct access to Hong Kong’s International Airport, the city itself and Lantau Island from Mainland China, built at a cost of over 20 billion Euros (or $30 billion).  Instead of three hours, travelers can expect to reach their destination in about 30 minutes. A feat that will surely stand for all time to come.  🙂

To better understand the importance of the bridge and what it looks like, a pair of documentaries are available for you to view.  One of which is an ariel view of the bridge. Another is a 20-minute documentary by a Chinese TV network which takes you across the bridge and provides you with some interesting facts about the bridge.

Before going further, let’s have a look at the longest piece of architectural landmark in mankind history 🙂 :

 

 

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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:

 

Videos:

 

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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New Cable-Stayed Bridge to Replaced Old Cable-Stayed Bridge in Colombia to be Built

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V-shaped Cable-stayed Motorway Bridge will replace the Bottle-framed Bridge that collapsed in January.

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA-

It was not long ago where a cable-stayed suspension bridge collapsed resulting in the deaths of People on or near the structure. On 18 January, the Chirajara Bridge, a 450-meter long cable-stayed bridge spanning a very deep gorge that was supposed to have served a motorway connecting Bogota, the capital of Colombia and and the City of Villavicenio collapsed, killing nine workers and injuring eight. All but 80 meters of the bridge was completed when one half of the bridge collapsed, as seen in the video below. More lives would have been lost had 180 workers not attended a seminar off-site.  In July, the remaining span was imploded in the same ravine where a mudslide had killed 23 people in 1973.

A new span is being planned. Two subsidiaries of the French Company Effage have agreed to a contract to construct a new span. It will be the same Bridge type in a cable-stayed Suspension design, but the Towers will have a V-shape instead of the bottle shape, as was seen in the now demolished span. The new span will be 150 meters above the ravine but the bridge will be much shorter than the 450-foot bridge- a total of only 290 meters. Construction is expected to take 18 months, four of which will be reserved for planning.

Inspite this, the collapse of the Chirajara Bridge has raised concerns about the structural stability and safety of the cable-stayed bridges in general, for due to problems with the cables and the bridge decking. Already hot in the news was the recent collapse of the Morani Bridge in Genoa, Italy, other bridges have been under the loop due to structural instability, including the Fort Steuben Bridge in Ohio, the Köhlbrand Bridge in Hamburg and the Oakland section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Some are asking whether other bridge designs would be more viable than the cable-stayed bridges, even though dozens have been built over the past year, including three in New York City.  Yet the construction of the new Chirajara Bridge will help improve traffic between the two previously mentioned cities in Colombia, reducing the travel time by 25 minutes along the new motorway. In the long term, however will it make sense. We won’t know about it for another 30 years. And when we meet it again, will the problems with cable-stayed bridges still persist or will we have to rethink the way we travel, impacting the Environment.

Collapse of the Bottle-Frame:

Implosion of the Bottle-Frame:

Link with details on the new span:

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/eiffage-build-replacement-collapsed-colombian-brid/

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 23

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ALSO MYSTERY BRIDGE NR. 106

This week’s pic of the week is also the 106th mystery bridge in the series. And while it is in the running for this year’s Ammann Awards in the category Mystery Bridge, it is also in the running for the Author’s Choice Awards for the Best Find of a Historic Bridge.

That is if this bridge is historic. It does look rather strange up close.

When driving along Crimmitschauer Strasse heading west and away from Pölbitz, a suburb of Zwickau in Saxony, one will see some housing developments along a small valley, where a creek runs through.  Going by the name of Weissenborner Bach (or creek), there are dozens of small crossings for pedestrians and filled-in crossings for cars to enable access to the housing there, where the average age for the houses and flats there are no more than a decade old.

Yet during a drive most recently, I found a hidden arch bridge located just off the highway, tucked away in the trees. It was then I needed to pull off to have a look. From a distance, one can see a typical arch bridge that is closed spandrel, regardless of the color in the concrete. Yet getting an even closer look at the structure, it turned out to be anything but that.

The bridge’s main arch was not round but polygonal, resembling a Parker truss design minus the vertical and diagonal beams. The same applies to the outer two arches, albeit not as visible as the main arch. The bridge appears to be built using wooden boards that had been cut up, which would partially answer the question of why the arch is polygonal. The boards are slanted and when having a closer look at it, one can clearly see the pattern. Normally for arch bridges, they are made of concrete or brick, with the latter having vertical and horizontal patterns.  When looking at the arches more closely, they are faux pa, meaning the bridge itself is a beam span, and the arches were added as decoration. When finding out that diagonal beams are supporting the bridge from inside the arches, one can conclude that the bridge is a kingpost deck truss that is flanked with faux pa, polygonal arches. The question is how old is the bridge, for given the condition of the wood, they appear to be not much older than 10 years.

Any ideas behind the bridge? And do you know of other polygonal arch bridges that exist? If you do, you know what to do. 🙂

The bridge was photographed right in the middle of Fall with the ground covered in leaves and the trees having a combination of red, yellow and light green. In Sepia form, it looks even spookier with the dark-colored bridge in the background. In either case, this pic of the week best fits with the season that is in full swing, even though we have had some warmer than usual weather- a sign of tough times to come.

But for now, enjoy the picture as well.

 

Map:

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