Today, I would like to tell you about the oldest bridge in the Low Lands. It is an incredible structure! I am going to take you to Maastricht, all the way to the South of The Netherlands, very close to the Belgian border. It also happens to be my favourite city because the town is […]Oldest bridge — Ava’s Corner
In northwest Kyushu, on a peninsula of a peninsula of a peninsula, like a fractal made from prehistoric solidified lava, lies the vibrant city of Nagasaki. Nagasaki City lies on a branch of three interconnected peninsulas. Two volcanoes can be seen, Unzen to the east, and Taradake to the northeast. Nestled amongst rugged volcanic hills, […]The Bridges of Nagasaki — @chadkoh
While Nagasaki was one of two cities in Japan that was destroyed by a nuclear bomb in 1945. On August 9th of that year, much of the city was reduced to a pile of rubble within a matter of seconds when a US plane dropped the bomb onto the city which had 260,000 inhabitants. The city has since recovered from the tragedy and the population has even doubled. While much of Nagasaki’s architecture is of post-World War-based modernity, some relicts from the past- the time before the incident- can be found in the city. Among those are historic bridges. In this guest post tour guide, the author takes you on a tour through the city and its unique bridges, past and present. Click on the link above and enjoy! 🙂
March 29, 1930
The Longview Bridge, spanning the Columbia River, was officially opened. This structure serves as a link between the cities of Longview, Washington, and Rainier, Oregon. The bridge was designed by structural engineer Joseph Strauss, who also played a major role in the creation of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in California.
The Longview Bridge is 2,722 feet (830 meters) in length, and its top portion is 340 feet (104 meters) above the Columbia River. At the time of its opening, this vehicular bridge was both the longest and highest cantilever truss bridge in the United States. (The above photo depicts the bridge in the year of its debut.)
The Longview Bridge was a privately owned bridge until 1947, when the state government of Washington purchased it. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Two years earlier, this bridge had been renamed…
View original post 69 more words
LIMA, IOWA- If there is one county that has a wide selection of through truss bridges that have been left in their places with concrete bridges serving as functional crossings- and observation points for passers-by, it is Fayette County, in northeastern Iowa. At least 10 unique crossings can be found in the county, each with its unique history behind its bridge builder, let alone the local history associated with it. Some are well documented, while others are not but their value is worth researching.
The Lima Bridge is one of those that belongs to the latter. The bridge spans Volga River on Heron Road at the state recreational area between the villages of Albany and Wadena. The structure features a pin-connected, seven-panel, Pratt through truss span with M-frame portal bracings and V-laced struts supported by heel bracings. The bridge is clearly visible from the concrete bridge which has been in service since 1979, yet when accessing the bridge, one has to be aware of brushes and other vegetation. In fact given the vegetational overgrowth on the bridge during my visit in 2011, the bridge’s structural integrity is stable and there’s no doubt the relict will remain there for years to come.
There is little history about this bridge in general, except to say that if we count the current concrete structure, this is the fourth crossing at this location. According to history, the first bridge was a bowstring arch span, built in 1865, though there was no mentioning of the builder of the bridge. Judging by the outriggers and the H-beams, this bridge may have been built by the King Bridge Company, as it had been established in 1858 by Zenas King, seven years before the first crossing was built.
The crossing was subsequentially washed away by floodwaters in 1875 and was replaced with another crossing. This is one where the debate comes in. Sources have pinned the current through truss span as its replacement crossings. However, its portal bracings show that the truss span was built much later, between 1890 and 1910. During the 1870s and 80s, portal bracings were characterized by its Town Lattice features, supported with ornamental shapes that were sometimes curvy. Beginning in the 1890s the portal bracings based on alphabets were introduced, which featured frames resembling the letters A, M, V, W, VW, MA, and X. Howe lattice portals that feature rhombus shapes were also introduced at the same time and they became common for use through the first three decades of the 20th Century. Today’s letter-style portal bracings are predominantly A-frame but M-frames and Howe lattice are also commonly used as well.
This leads us to the following questions to be settled regarding this bridge:
- Was the bowstring arch bridge built as the first or second crossing?
- If it was the second crossing, what did the original crossing look like?
- If it was the original crossing, what did the second crossing look like, when was it built and by whom?
- When was the through truss truss bridge built? In the second black and white picture there was a builder’s plaque which has since disappeared.
In theory, there were four crossings that have served this location since 1865. The only argument that would justify three crossings built would be if repairs were made to the through truss span, such as replacing the portal bracings. This was practiced with some of the through truss spans during the introduction of the letter-based portal bracings in 1890 and two examples can be found in Washington County, at Bunker Mill near Kalona and Hickory Avenue Bridge over the English River, the latter has since been abandoned in place.
Another theory was that a flood in 1947 knocked the bridge off its abutments but was later put back into place and continued to serve traffic until 1979 but that would mean finding out how the bridge was washed away and how this truss structure came about.
We do know that the Lima Bridge is one of three relicts that is left from the town of Lima. It was founded by the Light (Erastus and Harvey) Brothers in 1849, when they constructed a saw mill along the river. In addition to over a dozen houses, a church, lumber yard and general store were later added, though the general store itself survived through the 1960s when it was torn down as part of the conservation project. A railroad line also went past Lima but had only provided service until 1938. The church on Heron Road north of the bridge and an adjacent cemetary on Fox Road are the other two structures left of the community that once had over 200 people during its heyday. More information on Lima’s history can be found in the links at the end of this article. Ironically, Lima is located just three bird miles east of another village, Albany, which also boasts a through truss bridge spanning the same river. The town is now a campground area, while the bridge, which is on Hill Road is only open to pedestrians.
While there is a lot written on Lima’s history, the history of the bridge itself has many questions that have yet to be answered. We know that the through truss span still exists and serves as part of the town’s history. We know that its predecessor was a bowstring arch bridge. Yet what we don’t know at all is how many crossings have existed on Heron Road since its first one in 1865?
And for that, it’s now your turn to discuss this.
Our next Pic of the Week paying tribute to James Baughn also pays tribute to Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day took place on April 22nd and this year’s event is symbolic, for the United States under President Joe Biden has returned to the Paris Summit and to the table with two goals in mind:
- To fix the alliances with other countries, which were beset with hostility, ridicule and ignorance from the previous Presidency whose main slogan was „American First!“
- To challenge the countries to do more by setting their own ambitious goals of reducing Carbon Dioxide levels, reducing global warming and restoring the environment wherever is possible.
The Biden effect has played out in other countries, where the green movement in politics, policies and even personal preferences is in full swing. In Germany alone, the Greens party not only has a successor candidate for Chancellor in Germany in Annalena Baerbock, they also has one who is ambitious and has a plan to make Germany greener. At the time of this post, the Greens are leading the CDU party under the helm of current Chancellor Angela Merkel in the race, even though the German elections are five months away.
But putting aside the Green movement in politics, the Biden effect has had a pivotal effect for it shows that if you are a leader and set the benchmarks, the other countries will follow suit and not only reach (or even surpass) the benchmark, but also challenge others with their own goals. With China, Russia, the EU, India, Brazil and Japan as key players, this race to stop the rise in global temperatures and the subsequent climatic effects will eventually become the race to see who is the greenest and the biggets icon.
But how important is Earth Day?
Have a look at the photo taken by Mr. Baughn in 2015. It’s of the Herculaneum Bridge, spanning Joachim Creek on Highways 61 and 67 in Herculaneum in Jefferson County. The bridge was built in 1934 by M. E. Gillioz in Monett, Missouri. The bridge builder was responsible for dozens of bridge built in the 1930s, some of which are still in service today.
With the increase in the numbers and intensity of droughts and flooding, as well as extreme temperatures, this photo serves as a reminder of how dire the situation is. With flood water levels falling four feet shy of the bridge’s portal bracings, this photo shows the 15 foot tall Camelback through truss bridge almost completely covered in water. Normally you see bridges inundated when dams are built. But not like this.
This bridge was lucky because of its design and riveted connections. It had been rehabilitated prior to the flood. And at present, after emergancy inspections and repairs , this bridge is still in use. Yet flooding has destroyed dozens of bridges globally, annually. Not just trusses, arches and trestles, but also modern bridges built only 20 years ago! There are enough examples to go around.
If this example is not convincing enough, ask yourself this question: How has your region changed over the past 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? Compare this with the weather patterns your parents and grandparents have experienced and when finished, ask yourself this question:
Is this what we want? For our kids and grandkids?
When looking at our potential fourth year of drought coming our way in Germany and parts of Europe, combined with the death of forests in many areas in Saxony and Thuringia, and fewer amounts of snow in the winter, I can tell you my answer: No, this is not our planet. 😦
Ancient Stone Bridge, Perthshire, ScotlandAncient Stone Bridge, Perthshire, Scotland — Dillon Abbott
#Ancient Carr Bridge, #ScotlandAncient Carr Bridge, Scotland — Dominic Peterson
Jesmond Dene Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, EnglandJesmond Dene Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England — Elijah Sherman
If you’ve ever been part of an organization that marches — not just the military but even marching bands and re-enactors (sort of) — you know what it means to march in lockstep. Everyone steps in precision to a standard cadence (usually 120 steps/min, 28 in/step) and one person takes a step with his left […]The danger of always marching in lockstep — Michael Carver — Historical Interpreter/Reenactor
Magical Bridge, ScotlandMagical Bridge, Scotland — Nolan Hampton