BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 69

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Our next pic of the week coincides with the Flensburg Files’ series on photos of the former border crossings past and present, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which subsequentially resulted in the Reunification of Germany, 11 months later. This pic takes us to the famous Glienicke Bridge. This cantilever truss bridge was built in 1907 and spans the River Havel, forming the border between the capital city of Berlin and the state of Brandenburg. The bridge was very popular in history and culture because it became a key patrol crossing during the Cold War. From 1952 until 6pm on the evening of November 10th, 1989, this crossing was the border that kept people from entering and leaving West Berlin from the GDR. It was an exchange point for captured spies from both sides of the border, thus it became known as the Bridge of Spies; the name was adopted in literature as well as in films, the latest of which was a combination book and film that were released in 2015. Since the evening of the 10th of November, 1989, the Glienicke Bridge has been in service as a throughfare crossing, where tens of thousands of cars cross this bridge daily.

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During my visit to the bridge in 2015, the first impression of the crossing was the fact that it was just a typical historic bridge that had been restored to its usual form, with no border guards, no rust and corrosion and no potholes and other issues with the decking. The only markers that existed where the borders once stood was a sign with the information of the bridge’s reopening that evening, as well as a marker on the Berlin side with information on where the border once stood. However, since the opening, the Glienicke Bridge has become a fully restored tourist attraction. Most of the historic columns, statues and buildings dating back to the Baroque period have been fully refurbished and makes the bridge appear original- as if there were no bombings or the like, as it happened in World War II. Eateries on the Potsdam side of the bridge as well as a museum devoted to the bridge’s unique history also exist. Tour guides are available to know more about the history of the structure and its key role during the dark period of time.

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The bridge is a major tourist attraction for those with not only an interest in architectural history in Berlin and Potsdam, but also history in general. From a photographer’s perspective, the bridge is easily photographed as there are many places available where you can get your favorite shot- whether it is a close-up as I took some on the morning of October 18th with the sunrise and all, but also from several parks and castles lining up along the Havel, many from the Berlin side. In either case, the bridge is a highly recommended stop for those visiting Berlin because of its unique style and even more unique history, something that the governments of both Berlin and Brandenburg will do all that they can to preserve it for generations to come.

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To learn more about the bridge, click here.

 

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BHC Newsflyer: 8 October, 2019

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Bleicher Hag Bridge in Ulm, Germany: Officially doomed. Set for removal by 2020

 

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To listen to the podcast, click here.

Headlines: 

Historic Bridge at Bleicher Hag in Ulm, Germany closed to all traffic- removal planned for next year

Article: https://www.swp.de/suedwesten/staedte/ulm/verkehr-in-ulm-beringer-bruecke-ab-sofort-auch-fuer-fussgaenger-und-radfahrer-voll-gesperrt-38666873.html

Tour Guide: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-bridges-of-ulm-germany/

50th annual Covered Bridge Festival in Madison County, Iowa and the Reopening of the Cedar Bridge

Article: https://www.radioiowa.com/2019/10/07/rebuilt-cedar-bridge-will-be-dedicated-at-annual-madison-county-festival/

Tour Guide: http://bridgehunter.com/ia/madison/

 

Historic Brunswick Railroad Bridge in Kansas washed away by floods

Article: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/brunswick-railroad-bridge-washes-away/

 

Historic Bridge in Massachusetts receives award for its rehabilitation

Article: https://www.beta-inc.com/project/central-avenue-elliot-street-bridge-rehabilitation/

 

Historic Battleground Golf Course Bridge in Deer Park, Texas Reopens after Facelift

Article: https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/deerpark/news/article/108-year-old-bridge-in-Deer-Park-to-get-471-000-13634380.php

Bridge Info: http://bridgehunter.com/tx/harris/bh49528/

 

 

Historic bridge in Bowling Green, Indiana relocated to Nashville in Brown County.

Bridge Info: http://bridgehunter.com/in/clay/17050/ 

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 68

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This pic of the week is, in a way, considered an update of sorts on one of the bridges located not far from the base in Glauchau. The Schlunzig Cable-Stayed Suspension, spanning the Zwickau Mulde River on the road going to the Volkswagen Company in Mosel, was supposed to be finished this year. But as you can see in this latest pic taken on October 2nd of this year, storm clouds seem to roll over to delay the construction even further. Yet unlike these storm clouds that brought about much-needed Fall weather to the state of Saxony (with rain and cold weather to douse the dog days of summer), the storm clouds are figurative and are hovering over the region as well as the state capital of Dresden. Normally, all of the stayed cables should have been installed and the approaches built. Yet as of present, only the second set is being installed with five more to go. The cause of the delay has been due to shipping issues and faulty cables, according to the Chemnitz Free Press. With October already here, officials in charge of the project are now predicting that the 7 million Euro project will be finished in the next year due to delays and the winter months coming ahead. This announcement is a slap in the face for the State Ministry and Transportation and Business (LASUV), which is in charge of all infrastructural projects. In a statement to the Free Press, officials there claimed that such a delay will hinder any finalization of projects slated to start in the new year due to financial issues.

With this delay, residents are growing frustrated and for a good reason. The original structure, a 1964 product from East Germany, suffered substantial damage due to the 2013 floods and cannot be rehabilitated. This was the reason behind this new, futuristic style bridge. Still, with this announcement, locals and commuters will have to settle for another winter at a snail’s pace over the old structure. For truckers, it’s another winter’s detour through Zwickau instead of using the hopeful shortcut through Stollberg and Mülsen and over the bridge. But then again, we have been accustomed to loraxizing the likes of Greta Thunberg and passing half-assed legislation anyway, so there’s nothing we can say to that.

We can only hope that come 2020, the new Schlunzig Bridge will be done so we can bid a much-needed farewell to a crossing that did a world of service and usher in a new era that will be the new face along the Zwickau Mulde but one that will benefit everyone and the environment. My two cents on this pic and politics.

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Hirschgrundbrücke in Glauchau- Update as of October 5, 2019

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Current status as of 5 October, 2019:

The roadway and concrete curb of the Hirschgrundbrücke is completed and is just a question of time before the approaches on both ends (the park side to the south and the castle side to the north) are constructed. With rainy weather we’ve been having, typical of fall weather here in Saxony, it would not be surprising if we have another delay and workers have to wait until they are added, together with the railings.

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Furthermore, the concrete facade, which youu can see in this pic sandwiched between the scaffolding and the concrete, is almost finished as well. The facade, as mentioned in a previous post, is broken up stone that had been on the original structure before it was demolished in July 2018. In this pic, the is about a meter’s worth of layering left before the bridge is like its previous form. And this will lead us to the following question:

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When will the scaffolding come down so that we can finally see the finished product? We know it will open to pedestrians in November, but we’re getting anxious to see her in use again. 🙂

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To be continued……

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 67

It’s autumn and with that, the start of the time of year where the photos are at their best. With a combination of fall colors on trees, changing weather patterns between sun, storms and wind- ending up with snow and lastly long nights with long, bright color of the moon, one can come up with the best photos no matter where you go and what objects you are photographing.

This Pic of the Week is a prime example of it. This was taken in Jena in the German state of Thuringia three years ago. It was in September and it was a cold night. Yet with the super moon that happened during that time, it was irresistible to take the bike out there and get a few pics, including one of the bike itself with the lights on:

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And this covered bridge in the village of Kunitz, located a kilometer from the city limits:

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This bridge has a unique history along with the town of 400 inhabitants. The crossing over the River Saale is a replica of a covered bridge that was built in 1832. It survived over a century until the end of April 1945, when Nazi soldiers detonated the structure in an attempt to foil any attempts of the allies to encroach on Germany even further. Jena and Thuringia became part of the Soviet Zone after the war and instead of restoring the bridge, they constructed a concrete slab in 1947, which lasted 74 years. Still, locals worked together to preserve the memories of the bridge and took advantage of the expansion of the Saale Bike Trail by constructing the bridge’s replica in 2012. The bridge was erected on a new alignment, using the piers of a temporary bridge (Behelfsbrücke) used when the original crossing was being replaced. After the new bridge was opened, the covered bridge was built mimicking the original. The covered bridge today carries a branch of the Saale Bike Trail between Kunitz and the industrial area in Jena-Nord.

I took a lot of pics of the bridge with the Pentax but to do a bit of clean-up with the lighting, I doctored this one via Instagram: an oblique view with the moon rising from the eastern hills of the Saaletal and the weeds growing in the front of the bridge’s portal entrance. The brightness of the wood and vegetation was in part because of the lighting installed to provide safe passage at night. One could not imagine walking around Kunitz at night 15 years ago. Today, with a company of friends and/or family, it is safe to say that an evening walk is solely OK, photo opps with a good camera and graphic program is even better.

And as for the finished product like what is seen here, they speak for themselves. Happy Bridgehunting and happy Photoshooting! 🙂

 

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Information on the Kunitzer Hausbrücke, the official name of the covered bridge, can be found by clicking here. There is a restaurant between the two bridges on the banks of the River Saale which bears the bridge’s name and provides a great view of the River Saale and the town’s two bridges.

 

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Newsflyer: 16 September 2019

Quebec City Bridge. Photo by Martin St-Amant [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D
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To listen to the Podcast, please click here: https://anchor.fm/jason-smith-bhc19/episodes/BHC-Newsflyer-16-September–2019-e5fdn3

 

The Headines for this week (Details available per link):

Lawsuit against the State of Maine for its handling of a key historic bridge

Information on the Frank J. Wood Bridge: http://bridgehunter.com/me/cumberland/2016/

Information on the Lawsuit: https://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=21566

Interview with the Chronicles:

https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2017/07/14/locals-fight-to-preserve-the-frank-j-wood-bridge-in-maine/

 

Historic Bridge in Erfurt, Germany relocated to its third home for rehabilitation. Fourth home being sought.

Article: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/riethbrucke-in-erfurt-dismantled/

 

Fire destroys historic bridge over the Colorado River at Parker, Arizona.

Info on the Bridge: http://bridgehunter.com/ca/san-bernardino/540999/

Article: https://www.rtands.com/railroad-news/fire-destroys-genesee-wyoming-rail-bridge-across-colorado-river/

 

Historic Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge in Fredricton, New Brunswick getting new decking:

Article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/bill-thorpe-walking-bridge-construction-1.5284866

 

Canadian Government to reclaim the Quebec Bridge from Canadian National Railroad in an attempt to restore it

Information on Quebec Bridge: https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=quebec/quebec/

Article: https://www.bridgeweb.com/Canadian-government-takes-action-to-restore-Quebec-Bridge/5065

 

Historic bridge in Sweden to be replaced.

Article: https://www.bridgeweb.com/Replacement-of-Swedens-Stor-Bridge-begins/5071

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 64

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As we say good-bye to one of Erfurt’s prized treasures, I would like to show you an earlier pic of the Riethbrücke in Erfurt, when there were no barriers restricting its crossing. This pic was taken in 2004, when I was a Master’s student at the University of Jena, which is east of the capital of Thuringia. Studying political science, I would spend a day at the library at the University of Erfurt as it had a wider selection of books available to my liking (as a note: I my primary focus was on domestic policies- especially pertaining to public health). On the way to the University Library, I would stop at this bridge for some  pictures, especially as the Gera Bike Trail was the only safest way to my destination from the Central Railway Station.  The pic was taken with a Konica-Minolta mirror-reflex, 35mm camera with film; something that was still in before digital cameras would take over completely.  The markings of film-camera pics is noticable in this picture, taken during the early afternoon.

Even though I graduated in 2007, I returned to Erfurt in 2010 to teach at the University of Applied Sciences for two years. I would regularly pass this bridge while commuting to work from my home in Gispersleben (to the north). They had already placed the barriers on the bridge and been planning to replace the structure then. That the bridge lasted as longer as it did had nothing to do with the other crossings that needed to be replaced prior to that, but more with what to do with a bridge that has had a history of serving Erfurt for over a century and henceforth having been listed as a technical historical site by the State of Thuringia. It was one of us; one of the two dozen historic bridges that makes Erfurt a great place for bridgehunters, photographers and historians alike.

With the bridge now at the Highway Depot awaiting a much-needed makeover, the question is where the bridge’s new home will be. That will take some time to determine ist destiny.

For more on the bridge’s move, click here to read the article.

 

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