QEW’s Heritage Bridge

QEW’s Heritage Bridge

Hiking the GTA

Saturday, December 21, 2019

When the completed Queen Elizabeth Way opened in 1939 it had the distinction of being the first super-highway in Canada and the also first one to be fully illuminated at night. (Although that was delayed until war-time electricity restrictions were lifted in 1945.) Several bridges were built over the major ravines and the one over the Credit River in Mississauga has been given an historic designation. In April 2019 the Provincial Government announced funding to rehabilitate the bridge and build a second one directly to the north to allow for increased traffic flow. By November they had decided to demolish the bridge and build two new ones in a modern box design. Public outcry has resulted in the recent announcement that the government will only seek tenders that include the preservation and restoration of the historic bridge.

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I decided to stop by and see what the…

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In early March 1945, German forces in France and the Low Countries were flooding back across the Rhine with American forces in close pursuit. Hitler intended to use the swift, deep, and wide Rhine River as a moat to stop the Allies while he concentrated on defeating the Russians in the East. He ordered all […]

via The Bridge at Remagen — Buk’s Historical Ad Hockery

The event happened 75 years ago and a memorial dedicated to the battle of Remagen can be found today. It features the remaining bridge heads and a museum, which opened in 1980 and is dedicated to this historic event.  A celebration commemorating the event is scheduled to take place July 31- August 2 at the bridge site. A link to the website of the bridge and the events that follow can be found here.  

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Even World War II Couldn’t Stop the Building of This Vital Bridge

Even World War II Couldn’t Stop the Building of This Vital Bridge

This bridge was built towards the end of World War II, 75 years ago. It was last rehabilitated in 2010 and still serves as a vital link to the coastal area from Charleston. Information and photos can be seen here and in the link enclosed here.

Transportation History

June 18, 1945

On South Carolina’s Atlantic coast, a new swing bridge linking Mount Pleasant (the largest town in the Palmetto State) with Sullivan’s Island (both an island and a town) was opened to traffic. The Ben Sawyer Bridge was officially dedicated a couple of days later.

While construction plans for this bridge took shape by the summer of 1941, the actual building efforts slowed down considerably for the most part as a result of the U.S. entry in World War II and the consequent shortage of available steel. With the steadfast support of the U.S. military, however, full-scale construction on the bridge started up again in 1943 and the structure was completed two years later.

The bridge was named in memory of Ben Mack Sawyer, a longtime chief highway commissioner of the South Carolina Highway Department. Sawyer, who was born in the South Carolina town of Salley in 1890…

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 95

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This week’s Pic of the Week keeps us in Minnesota but takes us towards the Twin Cities. About a half hour drive southwest of Minneapolis we have the city of Shakopee, located on the Minnesota River. The city of 41,500 inhabitants has a lot of popular places of interest, including Valleyfair, Cantebury Downs, and the Renaissance Festival, in addition to its historic city center (even though it has been dwarfed by a population explosion in the past 30 years.)  When you follow the former US highway 169 (county highway 69) into the city and want to cross the Minnesota, you can at this one.

The Holmes Street Bridge features two bridges. The newest one (in the background) was built in 1993; the historic bridge in the foreground, a continuous Warren deck truss span was built in 1927. That structure replaced one of several swing bridges that had existed along the river from Mankato to St. Paul.  The bridge is 645 feet total in length and had six spans, including an underpass on the Shakopee side. That span has a flight of stairs that connect the street with the bridge itself.   The bridge carried US 169 before it was carried over to the 1993 crossing for awhile. The highway eventually was relocated again five years later when it became an expressway and bypassed Shakopee and its cross-river neighbor Chaska. County 69 became the replacement although with many cars driving through the city, it has the characteristics of a major highway in Minnesota with a four-lane highway whose lanes are much wider than a typical county road.

This photo was taken in August 2009 as we were making a brief stop for a break. The bridge was already open for pedestrians and cyclists and I saw quite a few of them passing by as I photographed the structure. The bridge was scheduled to be rehabilitated a year later, but it didn’t stop me from getting some details of the decking and truss superstructure before some of the elements were eventually replaced. While some of the gussets were replaced, the lighting and railings were completely replaced with those mimicking a nostalgic era of over a century ago. You can find more photos per bridgehunter.com here.

There is a story that came along after the photos were posted on bridgehunter.com. An insurance agency in Shakopee found this picture, the pic of the week feature, so interesting that they wanted to use it for their campaign. The green light was given- but under one condition. I wanted an example oft he finished product once it was released in the public. I received a folder with the name of the insurance agency in the end.  It was a neat souvenir that I still have at home. And for the agent, a way to bring a relict of the past to the public to show them what makes Shakopee a unique community, despite it becoming an urban sprawl. A win-win situation for all.

 

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Shakopee went from a small town of 9,400 in 1980 to an urban community of 41,500 by 2018, an increase of 31,000 over the course of almost four decades.  Together with Chaska, the twin communities have a population of ca. 70,000 inhabitants. Ironically, Chaska had only 4500 inhabitants before sprouting in the 1990s. It has almost 27,000 residents. Both are part oft he Minneapolis/ St. Paul Metropolitan area, which has a total of 3.9 million people, counting the Twin Cities plus all the cities surrounding it.

Gorica Bridge in Berat, Albania, and its curious legends.

Gorica Bridge in Berat, Albania, and its curious legends.

RANDOM Times •

We are in Berat, a city located in central Albania with an ancient history: it is considered the cradle of a multiculturality among the most unique in the nation. The city develops on the two banks of the river Osum, and is famous for some place of interests, like the Ottoman white houses, the city’s castle, where many people live still today, and the many mosques opposed to as the Byzantine churches. Just the peaceful division between Muslims and Orthodox Christians has created a curious legend, handed down orally, which concerns the Gorica bridge.

The bridge is the junction between two parts of the city, Gorica and Mangalemi, one of predominantly Christian faith and the other predominantly Muslim, and is one of the oldest and best known Ottoman bridges in Albania. Originally it was made of wood, but during the reign of Kurt Ahmed Pasha was built in stone, only…

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Originally built in 1923 as a single-lane bridge connecting Riverside with West Riverside, over the Santa Ana River, is a historic Riverside gem. It was known as the Rubidoux Bridge, the Santa Ana River Bridge and the Mission Bridge, constructed with Mission style towers at each end and featuring the Raincross symbol across its length. […]

via The Santa Ana River and its Historic Bridge — Your SoCal Tap Water

BHC Newsflyer: 24 April 2020

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Kraemerbruecke in Erfurt at Christmas time. Photo taken in December 2010

Corona Special: The Cancellation of Bridge Festivals

In both the USA as well as Germany and other European countries, communities in the summer time host bridge festivals (in German: Brückenfest), where markets and festivities take place at their beloved historic bridge. This usually takes place on a weekend and attracts thousands of visitors from all corners of the world. Because of the pandemic CoVid-19, these events are either cancelled or are about to be cancelled or postponed because of the high risk of spreading the virus. And if the Oktoberfest in Munich gets cancelled for the first time since 1949, no bridge festival is safe. Hence the information in this week’s podcast, including links.

This week’s podcast: https://anchor.fm/jason-smith-bhc19/episodes/BHC-Newsflyer-Corona-Special-24-April-2020-ed6gkf

 

And the headlines:

Krämerbrücke Festival in Erfurt Cancelled/ Erfurt mourns loss of longest tenant on the bridge:

Links: https://www.thueringer-allgemeine.de/regionen/erfurt/wuerdevoller-abschied-id228913845.html

https://www.otz.de/service/live-blog-coronavirus-fruehere-ladenoeffnung-in-thueringen-elf-zalando-mitarbeiter-in-erfurt-infiziert-id228803581.html

https://www.thueringer-allgemeine.de/regionen/erfurt/wuerdevoller-abschied-id228913845.html

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2266348657007500&id=1508477809461259

 

Horde Bridge Fest in Dortmund Cancelled:

Info: https://hoerder-stadtteilagentur.de/bruckenfest_hor-de_international/

Article: https://www.ruhrnachrichten.de/dortmund/hoerder-brueckenfest-wird-wegen-corona-verschoben-1505428.html

 

Nuremberg Bridge Fest at Theodor-Heuss-Brücke expected to be cancelled

Information on Bridge Fest: https://www.nuernberg.de/internet/stadtportal/brueckenfestival.html

Cancellation of events in Bavaria: https://www.antenne.de/nachrichten/bayern/corona-diese-grossveranstaltungen-in-bayern-wurden-bereits-abgesagt

Cencellation of Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich: https://flensburgerfiles.wordpress.com/2020/04/21/munich-oktoberfest-cancelled/

 

Brückefest in Heidelberg postponed until next year.

Karl Theodore Bridge- https://www.heidelberg.de/hd/HD/Besuchen/alte+bruecke+und+brueckentor.html

City Festivals- https://www.altheidelberg.org/veranstaltungen

 

Covered Bridge Festival in Elizabethon, Tennessee Called Off

Article: https://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Fairs-Festivals/2020/04/15/Carter-man-charged-in-murder-of-his-mother-arrested-at-Atlanta-Airport-86.html

Bridge Info: https://bridgehunter.com/tn/carter/bh36947/

County Bridge Tour:  https://bridgehunter.com/tn/carter/

 

Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana Will Not Happen

Article: https://www.katc.com/news/coronavirus/breaux-bridge-crawfish-festival-postponed

Event Info: http://bbcrawfest.com/about/

 

Note: Further cancellations of bridge festivals are likely as the virus progresses and planners remain concern about the safety of their bridges, communities and the people who visit them in large masses. The Chronicles will continue to provide you with updates through the Newsflyer podcast as they come.

To follow up more on the Corona Virus, go to the sister website, The Flensburg Files (click here.) There, you can read up on all the stories involving CoVid-19, including events being cancelled in Germany (and Europe) and people over there who are dealing with the virus and the restriction of movements.

 

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