This week’s Pic of the Week takes us back to 2016 and to the City of Jena in the German state of Thuringia. During a bike tour on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th), I took advantage of the cold and frosty morning to get some frosty shots of the Saaletal Viaduct, which spans two rivers and a wide valley. Normally it is impossible to get a shot for the grass area between is sometimes used for farming. It was not the case as I took a pair of shots of both the original viaduct as well as an additional one. As a bonus, there was a person who also took advantage of the cold weather and took his dog for a walk. When I arrived back home that day, my ghotee was all covered in frost. But looking back, it was one tour that was worth it.
And as for the Saaletal Viaduct:
The original viaduct was built in 1939, spanning the Saale River, the Roda River, and a valley that is over a kilometer wide and separates two of Jena’s southern suburbs: Lobeda to the east and Göschwitz to the west. The bridge is a masonary arch viaduct, which is the work of Friedrich Tamms and has 20 arch spans, totalling 800 meters long. It took two years to complete the viaduct (photos of the project can be seen by clicking here). The bridge sustained damage to the arch spans during World War II but was subsequentially repaired by the East German government to ensure it continues use.
After German Reunification, the motorway was assigned the A4 which connects Cologne and Dresden via Kassel. As part of the project to widen the motorway to six lanes, a supplemental span, consisting of a skeletal arch viaduct with as many spans as the original one, was built in 2002 and since then, serves eastbound traffic with the 1939 span serving westbound traffic. The new span can best be seen from the Roda River near Ruhla, whereas the original span can best be seen from the hills northwest of the bridge, as well as in parts of Göschwitz.
Additional work included the rerouting of the motorway and the construction of two tunnels on each ends of the twin viaducts, which was completed the same year the photos were taken. One of which, the Jagdberg Tunnel, is one of the ten longest tunnels in Germany, at three kilometers long. It’s west of the twin viaducts.