BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 90

Despite being on lockdown, we took an opportunity to go for a walk to get some fresh air, one of the few exceptions we were allowed to do. Since Monday we were only allowed to go shopping, go to a doctor or get some fresh air by walking or running as long as one is alone, with only one friend or with your family. We are blessed to have a castle and a park and pond which were only a kilometer from our house. And on a gorgeous Monday, we trekked to Grundel Park and Pond to tank up some vitamin D and enjoy the great outdoors.

As a bonus, we took a photo of Grundel Park Bridge, which connects the pond with an island. The structure is about a century old but its original predecessor was built in honor of Glauchau’s engineer, Heinrich Carl Hedrich, who not only built some bridges in the area, but became the first person who built the city water system for homes and businesses. The construction of the Flutgraben Canal encircling Glauchau also was to his name. The island has a monument on the opposite end of the bridge and a statue, both built in his honor. More on him will come later.

And as for the pic itself, on a sunny day with trees set to blossom, there’s nothing really much to say except this:

Wow! ❤ 🙂

 

BHC Newsflyer: 20 March, 2020

Padma Bridge in Bangladesh: One of many bridge projects on hold due to the Corona Virus. Photo taken by Afzalhossainbd / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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CORONA SPECIAL

Headlines:

Pennsylvania suspends all bridge building projects

International Bridge at Sault Ste. Marie. Photo taken by Mark Yurina in 2018

Michigan no longer accepting cash at toll bridges

Stillwater Lift Bridge. Photo taken in 2009

Reopening Celebrations at Stillwater Lift Bridge Delayed

Opening of Dublin Suspension Bridge Delayed

Sagar Bridge over the Neisse. Photo by Tnemtsoni / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Traffic Jam causes problems for Oder-Neisse River crossings

Virus Delays Construction of Zuari Bridge in India

Peljesac Bridge under construction. Photo by: Ma▀▄Ga / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Delays in China-Partnership Bridge Projects in Croatia and Bangladesh

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Photo taken in 2011

Update on the Lindaunis-Schlei Bridge Replacement Project- bridge now closed to vehicular traffic.

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 89

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This week’s Pic of the Week takes us back to Germany and to Saxony. This bridge was spotted by chance while traveling to Schneeberg from Zwickau, using one of the detours mentioned in an earlier article because of the main route being closed for bridge construction (click here for details).

This pedestrian bridge is located at the Schlossteich, at the foot of  the castle  located on the hills in Wildenfels. The community is located 10 kilometers south of Zwickau and five kilometers south of Reinsdorf. It’s a very unusual stone arch bridge not only because of the fact that it was built for pedestrians that can cross the structure as they go around the pond and up the hill to the castle. The arches are much different- the center arch has a vertical elliptical shape with the keystone touching the top of the bridge. The outer arches are elliptical horizontally.  The bridge is over two centuries old and must’ve been built around the time of the castle itself.  The strangest thing is that the bridge- and the pond itself- are located on the edge of a steep hill, where the water is kept back. A series of dams are located on the side of the bridge where the waters of Schönau Creek are regulated as they go down the hill enroute to the Zwickau Mulde River at Wiesenburg. In fact, a series of waterfalls behind the bridge and pond can be found and one can pinpoint how the creek is created and water is flowing downwards.

This photo was taken at the time of spring, where many crocusses and Schneeglöckchen (snowbell flowers) are located. As a bonus, here’s a close-up of a bunch taken next to the bridge with the pond in the background:

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Note: The answer to the last guessing quiz question in connection with Pic of the Week Nr. 88 can be found here. A commentator got this one right the instant the article was posted. Another guessing quiz is in the making and will come soon. 🙂

 

BHC 10 years

Two changes to Facebook Pages

 

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Two pages changed to honor the (historic) bridges of Saxony (Germany) and Iowa.

GLAUCHAU (SAXONY), GERMANY- Two facebook webpage have been changed and henceforth will honor areas that are highly populated with historic bridges- and with that, their history, heritage and ways to keep them from becoming a memory.

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The Bridges of Saxony (Die Brücken Sachsens)

The original page Friends of the Rechenhausbrücke (Bockau Arch Bridge) was changed to The Bridges of Saxony. The webpage was originally created in 2018 and was used as a platform to campaign for preserving the 150-year old structure that used to span the Zwickau Mulde River near the village of Bockau, located six kilometers southwest of Aue and 10 km south of Schneeberg in the Ore Mountains. Despite all the efforts, the bridge was torn down last year after a new span was built on a new alignment. More details can be found here. 

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Since then, the page was gradually modified to include, first the bridges in the western Ore Mountain region and lastly the whole of Saxony. Saxony has one of the highest number of historic bridges that exist in Germany. Many of them survived two World Wars and the Cold War all intact. Some of them are still scheduled to be either rehabilitated or replaced.

To access the facebook page and like to follow, click  here.

The Historic Bridges of Iowa:

Another webpage that has been changed recently is the one for saving the Green Bridge at Jackson Street and Fifth Avenue in Des Moines. Like its Saxon predecessor, the original page was a campaign platform for saving the 1898 three-span structure built by George E. King, but whose future was in doubt due to structural concerns. Unlike its predecessor though, the bridge was saved thanks to a wide array of campaigns and fund-raisers. The bridge was restored and reopened in 2017.

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Afterwards, a survey was carried out on what to do with the page. There, 70% of the respondants favored converting the page into one honoring the historic bridges in Iowa. Iowa is in the top five in terms of the highest number of bridges ages 70 and older in the US. Many of them have been preserved while others have been closed down and their futures are in doubt, like the Cascade Bridge in Burlington.  Some have already been demolished despite historical status, like it happened with the Wagon Wheel Bridge   in 2016. Since yesterday, the name was changed. The facebook page is now called The Historic Bridges of Iowa and it can be accessed here.

Both pages have the same mission:

1. It will be used to share photos, stories and histories of bridges in their respective areas. People wishing to post them are more than welcome to do so.

2. News articles, aside from what comes from BHC, on historic bridges are also welcome.

3. If people have books on certain bridges in the Iowa or Saxony that they wish to present on the platform, they can do so.

4. It will also be a platform for exchanging ideas involving preserving historic bridges in Iowa and Saxony. This includes any initiatives from groups that are fighting to keep their bridge instead of being demolished.

Given the political situation facing Germany/Europe and the US, no political commentaries are allowed on the respective pages. They are solely used for talking about bridges.

Like to follow on both the pages and enjoy the bridge photos, stories and the like that you will see when visiting the pages. 🙂

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 81

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During my recent field trip with some students to visit the Saxony Parliament in Dresden, one of my students found a good vantage point worth getting a photo. It was the view of the River Elbe and the Augustus Bridge, with the historic Old Town, featuring the Church of Our Lady, the Semper Opera and the Zwinger in the background and all towards the right. As a bonus, this was taken in the morning. As we were walking along the river towards the Parliament, I took a few shots of other bridges along the way before she pointed this one out. Needless to say it was a vantage point not to be missed….. 🙂

……in addition to a day trip through the Old Town, a good meal and some entertainment with some others…… 😉

 

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BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 80

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This week’s belated Pic of the Week has its own slogan “Go your own way.” This can be seen as a motorcyclist is travelling around the curve at a relatively fast pace under a viaduct.  Can you imagine what the cyclist was thinking about?

This pic was taken in the Fall of 2018 at the Steinpleis Viaduct, spanning the River Pleisse at the Dreieck Steinpleiss. There the rail line from Dresden and the one from Leipzig meet to head to Bavaria and its terminus in Nuremberg. The Dreieck has another viaduct in the direction of Leipzig approximately 600 meters away. Both viaducts were built in the late 1840s when the Dresden-Hof-Nuremberg Magistral and the Leipzig-Werdau lines were being built.

The tour guide on the Bridges of Werdau will feature these two in addition to a few other key structures.

But for now, go your own way and have a nice weekend! 🙂

 

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The Railroad Bridges along the Pegnitz Valley in Bavaria

 

One of the Deck Truss Bridges spanning the River Pegnitz  Source: Roehrensee [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D
Film clip

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Starting in the Fichtel Mountains in northeastern Bavaria, the River Pegnitz snakes its way through steep cliffs and deep forests enroute to Nuremberg. It’s hard to believe that one could build dozens of bridges and tunnels to accommodate rail traffic. But that was part of the concept for the construction of the Pegnitztal Railway in 1874. Using the section of the Dresden-Hof-Nuremberg Magistral at Schnabelwald as its starting point, the project to build the line took three years to complete, ending in 1877 to provide direct access to Bayreuth from Nuremberg. Originally the Magistral went through Bamberg but railroad officials chose Bayreuth as the quicker alternative. At Schnabelwald, the line branched off to the east, reaching Marktredwitz and ending at Cheb in the Czech Republic by 1879.   As many as 23 railroad bridges and seven tunnels occupy the stretch between Schnabelwald and Hersbruck near Nuremberg. Many of them are of original construction. Two thirds of these bridges are truss spans mainly of Warren design.

Sadly, these bridges are in danger of being demolished and replaced. The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) is planning to electrify the entire rail line to Nuremberg from Dresden (via Bayreuth and Hof) and Cheb (via Marktredwitz), respectively, to provide better and faster service among the cities. The plan is to have more passenger and freight service running on electricity by 2030, including Inter-City trains. And with that, all the bridges should be replaced.

Or should they? Residents of the communities have voiced their opposition to replacing the bridges due to their historic character, high costs for the concrete structures and the increase in noise in the region. Since 2012, the initiative to save the Pegnitztal Bridges has been in place with the goal of saving as many of the 23 structures as possible. There have been meetings, hiking events and the like since the initiative started and as of date, many people from the area have joined in the fight to protect these bridges and find more constructive ways to restore them and reuse them as part of the modern route.  To determine what these bridges are all about, here’s a tour guide video on the bridges along the Pegnitztal Railroad with close-ups of them all.

The fight to save them have been mixed. Engineering surveys have recommended five of the 23 structures to be rehabilitated and fit for further use. Yet sadly, five of them are scheduled to be replaced. While one of them, a short, 20 meter span, was replaced in 2013, the following three were replaced in 2018, as seen in the video below. Currently, temporary bridges are being built while designs for the new structures are being determined.  It is still unknown what will happen with the remaining 16 structures. But one thing is clear, the Initiative will continue to fight for every bridge until either the renovation or replacement job is completed. The German Railways have recently introduce measures to provide 180 billion Euros for rehabilitatinig bridges over the next ten years and have been able to compromise on some of the bridges. Yet still, they are baby steps in the name of progress, and more will have to be done to ensure a peaceful co-existence between a modern railline going northeast running on electricity and protecting the history of the structures, typical of the Pegnitztal Rail line, historically significant and definitely one that fits in the nature and is worth seeing while traveling along the Pegnitz.

Link with Information on the Bridges and the Initiative to Save them: http://www.bahnbruecken.info/ 

 

 

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