My 5: Waibaidu Bridge, Shanghai.

My 5: Waibaidu Bridge, Shanghai.

Leighton Travels!

Reading from China? This My 5 contains a YouTube video, which can only be viewed with a VPN!

1. March 2019. Located at the confluence of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River, Shanghai’s Waibaidu Bridge looks like a modest little structure at first glance. But what it may lack in length and height, it certainly makes up for with huge historical and cultural significance. You can find it at the northern end of The Bund, Shanghai’s grand street of colonial era buildings. The very cool, misshapen brownstone building tucked away behind it is Broadway Mansions, a five-star, nineteen-floor art deco hotel.

Waibaidu Bridge Shanghai.

2. March 2019. Waibaidu Bridge was built in 1906 from a design by a British company in Singapore. It replaced the wooden Wills’ Bridge, which had dated back to 1865. The bridge you see today was completely restored in 2008 having been dismantled and removed to a…

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BHC Newsflyer: 29 April, 2019

Podcast of the Newsflyer available here:


News Stories:

Cascade Bridge in Burlington, Iowa closed- future unknown

Rockville (Utah) Truss Bridge Re-opening Ceremony on May 3rd

Lindaunis-Schlei Drawbridge to be replaced

Article found here

Profile on the Bridge in 2011

Railroad Bridge in Calw (near Stuttgart) in danger of collapse

Replacement bridge project for Levensau Arch Bridge starts

Historic Bridge at Hull Drive near York (PA) being rehabilitated

Three bridges in Erfurt to be replaced- one of them is the Riethbrücke

Project to replace bridge in Magdeburg on hold due to legal dispute

Waiho Bridge Rebuilt and Reopened


PLUS: Tour Guide being updated. Click here.






Waiho Bridge Reopens!

bhc newsflyer new


On March 26th, a major storm washed away a key highway bridge spanning the Waiho River at Franz Josef. The storm killed one person and caused millions of dollars in damage. A recap on the spectacular wipe out of the bridge:


Fast forward to this time, less than a month later, the same bridge has been put back to business and is open to traffic. Since the 13th of April, the major crossing has reopened to traffic and with that, a sigh of relief for businesses in and around the Franz Josef Glacier region, which had suffered an average of  $3 million in losses daily. Many businesses in the area had considered closing down, especially as the region attracts up to 1.5 million tourists a year. Cars lined up on both ends at noon local time on the 13th as the multiple span bridge, featuring the same truss design as the one destroyed- the Bailey Truss- was reopened to traffic.

But in 18 days time?

While most crossings wiped out need 1-3 years of planning and reconstruction, this bridge rebuild was done thanks to planning and efforts by many key agencies, including the New Zealand army and its bridge planners. How this was done can be seen in the film below:

For a 300 meter long structure, it’s a feat that is for the books for the region, New Zealand and in the world of bridge engineering, one that will rake up some awards in the long term. 🙂


BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 46


This pic of the week is a throwback to eight years ago and back to the States. Here, this photo was taken by chance on a hot and muggy day, as this gentleman does his run towards the Skunk River Bridge east of Ames, Iowa. The structure features two Warren trusses- one pony and one through, though the through truss bridge dates back to 1876, whereas the pony truss was added when the former was brought to this location in 1916. Since then, the bridge has served foot traffic and nothing beyond it. Shortly after the photo was taken, a thunderstorm came about, which meant the runner may have been looking for shelter, yet it is unknown.

If you were running and was caught in a thunderstorm at this site, what would your reaction be and what would you do? Feel free to comment. 🙂

If interested in knowing more about the bridges of Ames, check out this tour guide here.




Today in Transportation History – March 28, 1899: A Noteworthy Bridge on the World’s Longest Railway Line

Today in Transportation History – March 28, 1899: A Noteworthy Bridge on the World’s Longest Railway Line

When traveling along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, you will run into lots of history and other surprises. This is one of them- deep in the heart of Russia….

Transportation History

After more than three years of construction, a railway bridge in the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia (part of the Russian Empire at the time) was completed. The six-span Krasnoyarsk Railway Bridge, measuring 3,300 feet in length, was built to carry the Trans-Siberian Railway over the Yenisei River. Construction on the railway line, which is now the longest in the world, had begun in 1891. The Trans-Siberian Railway would play a vital role in linking Siberia more closely with an increasingly industrialized European Russia, and Krasnoyarsk Railway Bridge was built in the vicinity of one of the line’s more critical and heavily populated junctions.

Initial load tests were conducted on the bridge the day before it was completed, with several train cars transporting rails across the structure. When completed, Krasnoyarsk Railway Bridge was one of the largest structures of its kind in not only Russia but all of Asia. The…

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BHC Newsflyer: 22 April, 2019

Nieblungenbrücke in its original form prior to World War II. Photo: WikiCommons

Podcast can be found here:


Article on the news stories in detail:

Key motorway bridge in Brazil collapses after a boat collision

Key Missouri River Crossing becomes history

Key Highway crossing in Pennsylvania to be replacedIncludes PENNDOT Bridge Marketing Profile

Nieblungen Bridge in Worms (Germany) to undergo Major makeover- main span to be replaced:Profile on the Bridge via wiki

Historic Bridge in Sonoma County, California to be replaced; trusses to be incorporated into new structure.

A 130-year old champaign bottle found in the rubble of a demolished historic bridge near Naumburg

Historic bridge in Frankfurt barely escapes a bomb in the River Main: Includes information on the Iron Bridge (not Alte Brücke as mentioned) where the bomb was found and detonated- here!

A historic bridge that survived the bombings of World War II in Hamburg to get a facelift and a new location.  Information on the Freihafenelbebrücke under the Bridges of Hamburg here.

And the second longest bowstring arch bridge in the world to be dismantled and stored until a new home is found.  Includes Facebook page on Relocating and Restoring the Kern Bridge

ALSO: Information and Petition to stop President Trump’s plan to shut down the National Register of Historic Places. Deadline is 30 April.



Mystery Bridge Nr. 113: A viaduct near Wolkenstein that used to serve a six-gauge rail line


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A bit to the southeast of Wolkenstein in the Erzgebirge is remnants of a viaduct that can be seen from state highway 220 in the direction of Streckenwald. Or better yet, one could see the bridge from the Oberauer Weg in the direction of Wiesenbad, but you may mistake the crossing for an old dam and power station along the River Zschopau where it is located. Yet if you did what I did, you will see that it was clearly a bridge.

The viaduct spans the River Zschopau at the confluence with another smaller river, the Pressnitz. Judging by its appearance, the bridge was built using sandstone and concrete and is about 25 meters deep. Because there are two round piers left, the viaduct used to have three main spans plus the approach span- all totaling a length of 60 meters. The abutments have been left in place and it appears that the viaduct spans were removed by crane.

To get a closer look at the bridge, I had to zig-zag my way down the steep hill from Oberauer Weg then cross the railroad track but not before jumping two steep ditches in the process. Then fight through weeds, thorns and bushes to get to the bridge. As I walked towards the bridge I saw that rail ties, covered completely in moss, were still in the ground, signaling that the viaduct used to serve a rail line from Wolkenstein to points towards the Czech Republic. Unless you are an experienced climber, love to take on the likes of poisonous snakes and deal with ticks, I would suggest not taking the route and try an long-distance shot either from the state highway on the opposite river bank or by boating down the river. Even if you wait until the time of hibernation between October and March, one needs to beware that the rail line crossed is still in use. One may be fooled by the weeds growing in the rusty tracks and the dirty grey rail times, making them look like they’ve been abandoned. However, the rail signals can be found in the direction of Wolkenstein, as the rail line runs along the Zschopau between Annaberg-Buchholz and Chemnitz and stops at Wolkenstein every hour in both directions.

After a few shots, I did some research and found some more information on the bridge and its connection with its long-abandoned railroad line and found that it was, in fact, a one-track, six-gauge rail line. The viaduct was part of the line that had connected Wolkenstein and Jöhstadt, running along the River Pressnitz. The rail line had been in the planning since 1869 but the actual work started in 1890 and ended before the end of 1982- a 28km line that needed two years to complete. The six-gauge line featured as many as 25 bridges averaging 20-35 meters each, most of them crossed the River Pressnitz. At 54 meters, the bridge profiled here was the longest of the crossing, yet it is unclear what type of bridge it was- a deck plate girder or a deck truss (either Warren, Town Lattice or similar).

As for the line itself, like all the other six-gauge lines, it became scrutinized and a focus of the East German government efforts to discontinue them, removing the tracks and bridges to be recycled and reused for other purposes, such as weaponry and appliances due to shortages in materials. The line was shut down in 1984 and the tracks and bridges along the 28km stretch were removed and recycled. Fortunately, after the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunited in 1990, interest gathered right away to reactivate at least part of the line, which succeeded in 2000 as the museum rail line was put into service, using the rail line between Jöhstadt and Steinbach. It is unknown whether the line will stop there or continue its way back to Wolkenstein.

While a railroad website has some pictures of the remnants of the Wolkenstein-Jöhstadt six-gauge line, there are not many pictures of the railroad and bridges that used to exist prior to its decommission in 1984. Henceforth, if you have some photos to contribute, especially that of the viaduct near Wolkenstein profiled here, then feel free to contact them or Jason Smith at the Chronicles. Your help would be much appreciated. A map of the bridge and its location can be found below.




BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 45


To tie in the full moon with spring time, here’s a skyline shot of the city of Aue at the time of the Supermoon, taken last month. In the foreground is the Schiller Bridge and the moon shines directly onto the Zwickau Mulde River. The Erzgebirge version of Venice is located at the junction of that and the Schwarzwasser River and has a history of bridge building that goes back two centuries. Have a look at the tour guide here. The photo was taken from the Viaduct which spans the river and the tracks of the Aue-Zwickau line which branches off into one going to Johanngeorgenstadt and another to Chemnitz. That viaduct is scheduled to be rehabbed beginning this May.

The Chronicles would like to wish you and yours a Happy Easter. Enjoy the beautiful weather, wherever you are. ❤ 😀


When This Bridge Opened, It Was the Longest Suspension in the World

When This Bridge Opened, It Was the Longest Suspension in the World

Transportation History

November 21, 1964

In New York City, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was officially opened to traffic in a dedication ceremony attended by approximately 5,000 people. United Press International reported, “A brilliant sun shone on the 4,200-foot [1,280.7-meter] suspension span and a cold wind blew across the lower bay of the harbor as a pair of polished scissors split a ribbon on the Brooklyn side of the bridge.” Along with helping to cut the gold ribbon at the dedication ceremony, New York City Mayor Robert Wagner read a telegram from President Lyndon B. Johnson that hailed the bridge as “a structure of breathtaking beauty and superb engineering.” The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazzano, who in 1524 became the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor.

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which carries Interstate 278 and is considered a major link in the Interstate Highway System along the Eastern Seaboard, connects the boroughs…

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