Best Kept Secret: Munksbrücke near Ockholm

This past summer, my family and I had an opportunity to visit the North Sea coast near Dagebüll. The town of 2,500 inhabitants is located 65 km west of Flensburg and 30 km northwest of Husum. Not far from the mainland are the Halligen Islands. These small islands serve as wave breakers and are located between three and 15 kilometers off the mainland. With a couple exceptions, these islands can be accessed by foot during low tide (Ebbe) and only by boat at high tide (Flut). The influence of the tides can also be seen in the canals and waterways that exists on the mainland, which are controlled by a series of dams and dikes. This system has been in use since the Great Flood of 1961, which flooded half of Schleswig-Holstein and almost all of Hamburg, killing hundreds of residents and causing billions of US Dollars in damages. Yet the dikes are being improved as the water levels are increasing as a result of Climate Change.

Located eight kilometers to the south of Dagebüll is this bridge. Located over the Bongsiel Canal, this bridge is located in an area that is out of the way, serving a local road near Ockholm. Unique about this bridge is the fact that it is the oldest of its kind left in the state. Constructed in 1886, this bridge is 31 meters long and features a bowstring pony arch bridge with welded connections. The bridge is a year older than the swing bridge at Klevendeich near Hamburg.

Like with truss bridges in North America, the Munksbrück features welded connections, where the truss parts are bolted together by hand, supported by gusset plates. They were the forerunners to truss bridges with riveted connections, where the truss parts are slid into the gusset plates like a person wearing a glove and then bolted shut. Most of the truss bridges in Europe were built using this system of connections until the 1920s when riveted connections were introduced. Most truss bridges today are molded together offsite before sliding it into place.

Contrary to the tire tracks left on the bridge and the wear and tear, this bridge was restored in 2019. According to the engineering firm Grassl, the abutments were rebuilt, mimicking the original ones when it was built in 1886. Furthermore, the bridge itself was restored, in-kind. This means truss parts were sandblasted , strengthened and then repainted to protect them from corrosion. Some parts were most likely replaced in the process. Furthermore, a new wooden decking was installed which includes a drainage mechanism where the water is drained into the canal. The bridge was never widened, which means the one-lane bridge restriction was left in place. Based on my observation during our visit in 2021, road-users were paying attention to the oncoming traffic to ensure that those who have the right-of-way can use it. In American standards, it would be considered impossible for today’s bridges must have a minimum of three lanes- two for cars and one for pedestrians and sidewalks. A total of at least 35 feet in width, which puts the remaining truss bridges in service in danger of being replaced; the trusses sent to the recycling centers for reuse. One of the caveats I have as an American is when the bridge wobbles.
From an American bridge building perspective, it would call for an immediate replacement for a crossing must sit still when something crosses it. However if one does the homework correctly, he/she will find that a truss bridge vibration is normal as it undergoes regular stress caused by loads going across it. It’s just a mere question of how much of a load the bridge can tolerate. Yet from a neutral perspective, one needs to check and ensure that no damage is done to the diagonal beams or better yet, havea weight limit to ensure only light vehicles can cross the bridge. After all, a concrete bridge, built in the 1960s is located just a kilometer away from the bridge, clearly visible from the truss bridge.

There is very little information about this bridge except to say that it is the second crossing currently in service. The bridge is located only 200 meters away from a nearby restaurant that bears the same name. Unfortunately because of the Covid-19 epidemic, the restaurant is out of business, having been closed for quite some time. Likewise, many restaurants in this region has born the brunt of the epidemic for 70% of the restaurants located outside communities, like Dagebüll, Husum and Niebüll have shuttered because of Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions. As long as the epidemic exists, the way of life will be restricted unless we be active in our efforts to contain and defeat it. This includes getting the shot and even the boosters that are and will continue to be available. But it also making some fundamental changes in terms of our travel habits, such as reducing capacity at public events and on flights. The less is more approach cannot come at a better time than now. Already Schleswig-Holstein is leading the pack in these aspects and more and it is hoped that other states in Germany, as well as other countries, such as the US will follow suit. If in doubt, ask the politicians in Kiel. They will show you the path.

The (now shuttered) Restaurant bearing the bridge’s name.

.

But once the epidemic is over, perhaps places like this restaurant will reopen. If that is a case, it makes for a perfect stop to enjoy the meal and see the bridge. The Munksbrück Bridge is one diamond that one has to see while in the region where the Halligen Islands are located. It has maintained its structural integrity, even more so with its recent facelift. As long as the bridge is properly maintained and drivers pay attention to the other man on the (opposite end of the) bridge, the structure will remain in service for generations to come. It’s a trip that was not regrettable and is recommended to everyone, pontist or non-pontist.

.

.

Author’s note: I’m looking for more information on this bridge’s history, especially in terms of its builder. It’s in connection with the bridge book I’m compiling on Schleswig-Holstein’s bridges. For more information, click here. My contact info is here. Thanks in advance for your help and happy bridgehunting, folks.

.

.

💉🌉BHC

Huntsville Canada Swing Bridge — raddoc1947

This bridge carries Main Street over the Musako River.  It was built in 1938. It was built by the Hamilton Bridge Company of Hamilton, Canada.  The bridge type is metal rivet connected polygonal Warren Pony truss, movable swing center bearing center pier and approach span: concrete rigid frame fixed.  The swing feature […]

Huntsville Canada Swing Bridge — raddoc1947

Bridge Genre/Media Tip: Everything About the Brooklyn Bridge

Photo by Chris Molloy on Pexels.com

.

.

A few years ago, I received a 500+ page book on the history of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough as a Christmas gift. The title was The Great Bridge. Mr. McCullough had spent over a decade doing research on the life of the bridge builder, John Roebling, who had designed the bridge and his son, Washington, who directed the construction of the bridge even when he was bed-ridden for much of the construction. Then there is the design of the bridge, the construction and of course after the casualties behind the bridge build, the grand opening of the bridge. McCullough focused directly on the facts, hitting every point but in full detail. If one has the time and wants to bury himself into the research, the book by McCullough would be the best bet.

Recently though, a pair of podcasts were presented about the Brooklyn Bridge but from different angles, those that were not addressed in the book by McCullough. Dr. Greg Jackson is the host of History that Doesn’t Suck (HTDS), a podcast that looks at the aspects of American History that is often seldomly discussed in the classroom. Greg is Assistant Professor of Integrated Studies and Assistant Director of National Security Studies at Utah Valley University, where he teaches courses spanning US, European, and Middle Eastern history. For many years, he has done extensive research on the life of the Roebling Family and how each of the family members played a contributing role in the construction of one of New York City’s oldest and most popular icon.  One of them was Washington Washington’s wife, Emily, who was “acting” engineer when her husband was bed-ridden, but was never recognized when the bridge opened to traffic in 1883.

Greg did a podcast on the Roebling family, which you can listen to by accessing the link here:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/episode/1W9a3Bl8kvXoZktedtl387?utm_source=generator

.

A month ago, another podcaster, going by the name of Infrastructure Junkies, did a two-part interview with Greg about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge with some other aspects that have up til now not been mentioned. He ties it in with the life of the Roebling family and their roles behind the bridge. The podcast has two parts:

Part 1: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-wwif3-110f22e

Part 2: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-ivz84-10fd5a6

The BHC has nominated the podcast crew of Infrastructure Junkies and HTDS as well as David McCullough for this year’s Bridgehunter Awards in the category Bridge Media and Genre for their extensive work on this project. On a personal level, I have never learned as much as I have with this topic and being a man of full detail it is important when writing a book or doing a podcast, one has to cover all the exits with the detail, but in a way that it is interesting to the audience. They indeed did just that.

.

.

Will this in mind, congratulations on the nomination and we’ll see how the voting turns out. Voting starts after the final submissions are in by December 1st. Information on how to enter is here.

.

.

BHC Newsflyer: 27 November 2021

The Tenth Avenue (Cedar Avenue) Bridge in Minneapolis. Photo taken in 2009 before the rehabilitation project

.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

.

.

Headlines:

Council Agrees to Readdress the Issue Involving the Future of a Local Historic Bridge in Ontario

Police Looking for Vandals who Looted the Historic Richardsville Bridge

https://www.wbko.com/2021/11/22/historic-old-richardsville-road-bridge-vandalized-with-obscene-graffitti/

.

.

Historic Bridge in Minneapolis Reopens after Receiving Much-Needed Facelift

https://www.startribune.com/10th-avenue-bridge-in-minneapolis-reopens-after-60m-makeover/600117418/

.

.

Historic Bridge in Wales Washed Away in Recent Storms

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/historic-bridge-washed-away-might-22252956

.

.

Historic Truss Bridge in New York has a New Home

https://www.wwnytv.com/2021/11/24/old-bridge-gets-new-life-hopkinton/

.

.

.

December 1st is your last day to submit your entries to the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards. Information and Contact Details here.

.

.

Reminder: Shots Save Lives! Let’s End the Corona Epidemic!! Get the Shot!!!

.

.

💉🌉BHC

Infrastructure Funding Boost Puts Historic Bridges At Risk

Here’s a look at the negative impacts of Biden’s Infrastructure Bill on America’s Historic Bridges. Will they benefit from this or will it be the last nail in the coffin? Feel free to comment.

I, Beckerman, not Robot

President Biden speaks about his infrastructure bill at a bridge across the Pemigewasset River in Woodstock, N.H., which has been declared “structurally unsafe.

Historic bridges get no love, at least not from the civil engineering community.If you are a civil engineer, especially a bridge engineer, historic bridges are nothing but headaches.The concrete ones are probably rotted from the inside out, with outmoded and salt-ravaged rebar.The metal ones are riveted. Who does riveting anymore?There may be material loss from rusting.For some of the older ones, no one knows how they function.This isn’t taught in schools any more.For the average engineer, the numbers for rehabilitation don’t work.By the time the bridge gets to the attention of the design team, the bridge probably hasn’t been rehabilitated for 40-50 years.It is unlikely to have been maintained for the last 30 years.Neglect takes its toll.A proper rehab might give another 40 years of life…

View original post 1,653 more words

This Is Where the States Want Billions in Infrastructure Funding Spent — The New York City Daily Post

[ad_1] SACRAMENTO — On the highway over the Teton Pass in Wyoming, avalanches have been threatening motorists since the 1960s. In Washington and Oregon, drivers live with the daily awareness that, in a major earthquake, the bridge between Vancouver and Portland will probably collapse. In California, residents are increasingly at the mercy of out-of-control wildfires […]

This Is Where the States Want Billions in Infrastructure Funding Spent — The New York City Daily Post

BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 167 Tribute to James Baughn

The 167th Pic of the Week has a perfect fall setting that was photographed by James Baughn in 2017. The bridge in the foreground however, as easy as you can access it, may be in danger of collapse.  This crossing is located across Blackwater River at McAllister Springs Access and features a Parker through truss span with Howe lattice portal bracings supported by curved heels. It’s near the village of Hustonia in Saline County, Missouri. The bridge has eight panels and has a length of between 160 and 190 feet. While there is no information on the date of construction, the pinned connections and the portals indicate a build date between 1890 and 1910.

At the time of the photo, the bridge was in a balancing act with the brick abutments cracking and spalling thanks to a tree that grew through it. Furthermore, the decking has rotted away to a point where the lower chords have been exposed. Some of lower beams have been shifted or are missing. Trees have landed on the bridge with branches found on the top chord and on the stringers. And lastly, the approach spans have disappeared with only V-laced columns dangling from the abutments. Another flood or two will seal the deal and put the bridge into the water. If that doesn’t happen, then most likely the bridge may collapse under its own weight. This happened with the Schell City Bridge in 2012 after years of abandonment, even though the decking was all but intact. Further photos taken this year shows a worsening state of the bridge. Click here to view.

The only way this bridge could be saved is if it is dismantled and restored in parts and built on new abutments as the old ones cannot be salvaged. Furthermore, it would have to be relocated to a better site where people can access the bridge. If and whether it is possible depends on the funding available but also the interest. Even if it was put into storage, it would be better than to just simply remove it.

The McAllister Truss Bridge is a bridge full of surprises, with history to be found on it and ways to preserve it. Yet it is a bridge in need of help and it hoped that someone will come to its rescue before Mother Nature finishes it with the next flood.

.

.

The Quiet Life — Old Structures Engineering

There are two reasons that I chose to write about the Wisconsin-Michigan Railroad Bridge over the Menominee River between the two states. The first reason is that it’s a good example of the small truss bridges that were built everywhere in the US in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Wagner, Wisconsin, and Lake, […]

The Quiet Life — Old Structures Engineering

Without Visual Hierarchy — Old Structures Engineering

Vierendeel trusses are misnamed. They’re really frames, not trusses. In ordinary trusses, most or all of the members are designed for primary stress consisting of axial load, while every piece of a vierendeel, by definition, has bending. But they have been used (when they’ve been used, which is not that often) in the same places […]

Without Visual Hierarchy — Old Structures Engineering