The Soviet Union is Gone, But the Bridge Remains

Transportation History

June 20, 1954

A new bridge was opened between Romania and Bulgaria at a time when both countries were still part of the Soviet Union’s bloc of satellite states in Eastern Europe. Spanning the river Danube, the steel truss bridge connects the Romanian city of Giurgiu with the Bulgarian city of Ruse.

The 7,295-foot (2,223.52-meter)-long bridge was designed by Soviet engineers O.V. Andreev and N.N. Rudomazin. Bulgarian architect Georgi Ovcharov designed the decorations on the bridge. It took two-and-a-half years to build this bridge. Originally called the Friendship Bridge, the structure was renamed the Danube Bridge after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet-sponsored Communist regimes in both Romania and Bulgaria.

The Danube Bridge consists of two decks, one for two lanes of motor vehicle traffic and the other for railway service. In addition, there are sidewalks on the bridge for pedestrians. The Danube Bridge’s…

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