BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 110

For the first time in three weeks we are presenting our Bridgehunter’s Chronicles‘ Pic of the Week, looking at photos of bridges taken by the author once a week.  The pics to come for the next month will look at the bridges in the region where the author took his vacation with his family- namely the Far North of Germany, known by locals as the Hohe Norden, where the German states of Mecklenburg-Pommerania and Schleswig-Holstein are located…….

…..and of course, the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, with a population of 1.9 million inhabitants. While the city has a lot to offer, such as the Elbphilharmonie, the Reeperbahn, the Green City of Wilhelmsburg and the harbor, it is home to over 2300 bridges of all kinds, some dating back to the days of Kersten Miles. Many bridges dating back a century ago survived the ariel bombings from World War II. Then there some dating to the days of modernization- bridges of sleek design but have become popular in many bridge books and among the locals……

….like the Köhlbrand Bridge.  With a height of nearly 54 meters and a total length of 3.4 kilometers, the cable-stayed suspension bridge is hard to miss when passing through the city both by boat as well as by car. It took approximately four years to build this gigantic structure, whose span is approximately 325 meters. It crosses the harbor, carrying a major road that leads to Hafen City in the center of the city, crossing four additional bridges, including the Freihafenbrücke, in the process.  One will start crossing the Köhlbrand after leaving the Motorway 7.  If you stay on the Motorway 7 going towards Flensburg, you will see the bridge on the right before entering the Elbtunnel.

And although you would most likely miss a photo of the bridge when traveling normal speeds on the Motorway 7, we were caught in a 25 kilometer traffic jam, crawling at no faster than 20 km/h  at times, which presented us with a possibility to capture multiple shots of the bridge from our location. With me at the wheel, my wife took a series of pictures of the bridge, including this black and white shot, showing an oblique view of the structure. Needless to say, this was a real steal, looking at the structure up close and personal, yet from a distance. We have a sample of more which you can find via facebook by clicking here below:

Sadly, the bridge’s days are soon to be numbered, A sharp increase in car and shipping traffic, combined with wear and tear have prompted officials from Hamburg and Berlin to plan for its replacement. Instead of a new bridge, a tunnel is expected to be built. To ensure federal funding is available, the major highway will be upgraded to a federal highway (Bundesstrasse). The plan is to have a new crossing in place by 2030. Whether it will happen or not remains to be seen, especially in light of the Corona Virus and impact on bridge building and the shipment of materials needed to build Köhlbrand’s replacement. It is unknown whether the current structure will remain in place, even though it is protected by Germany’s Cultural Heritage Laws (Denkmalschutz).  More will follow as the story unfolds. In the meantime, if you are stuck in traffic in Hamburg next time, take some time and pay homage to this unique structure, while she’s still sky-high and emitting its structural beauty throughout this Hanseatic City.