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The road bridge across the Lower Rhine should have been the final objective of the operation, and its capture was tasked with the British 1st Airborne Division. In September 1944 the Allies launched Operation Market Garden. Unexpected German resistance in Arnhem meant that only a small force of some 750 men were able to reach […]

via The John Frost Bridge in Arnhem —

The next bridge in the Wartime Bridges series takes us to Arnhem in the Netherlands and to this bridge, the John Frost Bridge, spanning the River Rhine. There, the bridge was the site of one of Germany’s last stand in the Battle of Arnhem, which took place from September 17th until the 26th, 1944. In an attempt to liberate the city, British  and Polish forces moved towards the city, only to be ambushed by German forces. A pair of stories on the battle to claim the city and the bridge can be found here and in the next article. The John Frost Bridge was named after the Major General who led his troops to battle and would later become a Prisoner of War.

This is Part I. Part II you can find here. It includes a video documentary.

BHC 10 years  FlFi10

Wartime Bridges: Stories of Bridges and their Roles in World War II now being collected for series

The Bridge at Tczew, Poland. Supposedly the bridge that sparked World War II in September 1939. It was destroyed on September 1, 1939 during the Nazi Invasion. Drawn by Ernst Keil in 1858 after its opening.

In connection with the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 10th anniversary of the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles and sister column The Flensburg Files, we’re starting a series on Wartime Bridges. In this series, we’ll look at the (historic) bridges that played a key role in World War II. They include popular and historic bridges that were destroyed in the war, like the bridges in Cologne, Frankfurt and Berlin, the third city there’s a book written on it which will be presented as a separate article later.  They can also include bridges that were used for troops to cross as they march their way to victory. Two bridges have been mentioned in separate articles in the Chronicles- the Pegasus Bridge in France and the Remagen Bridge over the River Rhine in Germany.  Nonetheless, the question is which other bridges played a key role in the war, regardless of outcome?

There are two ways to present your articles:

  1. If you have a blog or other online column, you can proceed with doing a write-up on the bridge of your choice, send the link with the finished product and it will be reblogged onto the two columns.
  2. If you don’t have a blog or online column, or you have a blog but would prefer not having it reblogged, you can write an article on it and send it directly to the Chronicles, using the contact details provided here.

The articles will be posted in both the Chronicles and the Files including whatever photos you wish to have on there. If it comes from a source other than yours, please cite the source.

We will start with the bridges in the European theater for World War II ended on 8 May, 1945 with Germany’s surrender. The series on the Bridges of World War II in Europe will continue until September. From that point on until the end of this year, we will focus on the bridges in the Pacific theater and their key roles. Japan surrendered on 2 September, 1945.

To give you an idea what’s expected, here are the two sample articles that were posted recently:

The Bridge at Remagen (D)

Pegasus Bridge (Fr)

Another bridge mentioned is the Tczew Bridge in Poland, which was supposedly the place where the first shots were fired. The story can be found here.

Looking forward to your written works. It’s open to all, not just the pontists, historians and photographers.

BHC 10 years

FlFi10

 

 

 

BHC Newsflyer: 17 April 2020

Phelps Mill Bridge in Otter Tail County, MN: Photo taken by Jake Lennington

 

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To listen to the podcast, click on the link here: https://anchor.fm/jason-smith-bhc19/episodes/BHC-Newsflyer-17-April-2020-ect4hb

 

 

Headlines:

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Kern Bowstring Arch Bridge Has (Possible) New Home in Fergus Falls
Photo taken in 2009
 
3rd Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis to be Rehabilitated
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Kassberg Bridge. Photo taken in 2017
 
Kassberg Bridge in Chemnitz Reopens After 2-year Restoration
 
Historic Bridge in Halsbrücke to be Removed
 
Amrutanjan Viaduct in India Imploded
Article on the demolition:  Amrutanjan Bridge Demolished
 
Champlain Bridge before its replacement bridge. Photo: UncivilFire / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Team Selected for Champlain Bridge Removal in Montreal
 
Work Commences to Finish Sixaola Bridge Project
Photo taken by John Phelan (NPS)
 
Art Competition for Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge:
BHC 10th anniversary logo1

TYB- Most Bizzare Bridgehunting Encounters: Mosquitos

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TYB

This story is part of the series on Most Bizarre Bridgehunting Encounters with People and Animals. If you want to submit your stories, click here to find out how to do it. You will also find more stories in the comment section.

The best bridgehunters started out as novices and as a novice, you encounter the common variables that will stick to you as you go from bridge to bridge. This story came from Melissa Brand-Welch as she was just starting her career as a bridgehunter/photographer. Hers dealt with one common variable that all of us have dealt with- especially in the summer: Mosquitos!

These blood-sucking creatures can be found anywhere where there are tall weeds and lots of moisture. Not even the toughest insect repellent will phase them for they will consider it, an attraction. Not even repellent with lavender scent- a mistake I made in one bridgehunting adventure a decade ago. And to the person who is reading this: I still have the repellent and will instead use it on my next date with my wife. 😉

Here’s her story and the bridge where she encountered these pesky things with wings:

In October 2018, 4 days into my bridge hunting adventurers,  I took my granddaughter to Sigler Bridge. James Baughn found it and added it to bridgehunter.com. I wanted to add the first photos. We arrived around 7am and as soon as I saw the weeds I knew it was a mistake! We started towards the bridge; it was the longest mile of my life in thick, three foot high weeds. The river bank was swarming with mosquitoes. I took a few photos and we hiked back to the truck. Despite all of that, I was hooked. I went back to the same bridge later in the month after the field was cut and took some great photos. 

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Information on the Sigler Bridge can be found here: http://bridgehunter.com/il/white/sigler/

 

BHC 10th anniversary logo1

 

 

What to do with a HB: Millbrook Truss Bridge in Kendall County, Illinois

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Once scheduled for demolition, the contract is rescinded. Now discussion about its future is back on the table.

MILLBROOK, ILLINOIS- One will see the structure upon crossing the Fox River.A three-span Pratt through truss bridge with a total length of 500 feet. The bridge is 123 years old, although the largest of the two spans was relocated at around 1910. That span has riveted connections and Howe lattice portal and strut bracings. The two smaller spans, apparently original, have Town lattice portals, V-laced strut bracings and pinned connections. The bridge and the road both were bypassed in 1984 and since then, the structure has been used as a pedestrian and bike crossing. A beautiful accessory to the nearby forest.

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Still, the Kendall County Forest Preserve wants to see the bridge be removed. The reason? Failing limestone piers.

The forest preserve is cash-strapped for any funding to even fix the bridge. Even the money coughed up for removing the bridge was from scraping the bottom of the funding pot. When the contract was let to demolish the bridge in 2018, the amount was more than what was estimated- 476,000 to D-Construction instead of $200,000. The cost for rehabilitating the bridge: over one million Dollars. And this for repairing the bridge piers, the paint job and possible repairs.

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Theory and practice reveal that even repairing or replacing the piers alone is approximately 50% cheaper than removing the bridge alone. With the restoration work needed for the bridge, if one chooses the right firm, such as Workin Bridges, BACH or Mead and Hunt, the cost for the above-mentioned job is 20% cheaper. Even if trusses are dismantled and stored while funding is collected for rebuilding the piers, the cost would be much cheaper. The act to remove the bridge without a slight hint of possible restoration and incorporating it into a trail, let alone the possibility of seeking resources and grants is very short-sighted and thus should be reconsidered.

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Already the first attempt to form an intergovernmental partnership with the village of Millbrook failed to bear fruit. Still a larger attempt to include the county and state authorities, let alone private actors is needed to ensure any action with the bridge is carried out without emptying the pockets in the process. This also applies to removing the bridge which if done, pedestrians and cyclists would be forced to use the current crossing 100 yards away, which would increase the risk of accidents and fatalities, thus putting the liability onto the forest service and the county.

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At the present time, the contract with D-Construction has been rescinded for the purpose of the state attorney needing to examine it. Yet in the news release on February 4th, the Forest Commission is planning to vote on the proposed demolition of the bridge on February 18th. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 9:00am on the second floor of the County Office Building at 111 W. Fox St. in Yorkville. Furthermore, discussions on the attempts to save the bridge will also be included. Instead of proceeding with the project of simply wiping away a bridge that is loaded with history and is one of Millbrook’s prized treasures, one should look at other alternatives, including any partnership possibilities and contacting resources who can help with restoring the bridge. Even by dismantling and storing the bridge temporarily until funding found for the trail and restoring the bridge, it would be a starting point and one that the parties involve would be willing to take as the first step. What is important is that bridge can be saved and there are ways of doing that.

It’s just a matter of taking that first step, even as the clock runs out.

 

Note:

There’s a facebook page that is focused on saving the Millbrook Truss Bridge which you can join and follow the developments. Click on the link below and you’ll be directed to the site.

https://www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheMillbrookBridge/

 

If the demolition was approved, the work wouldn’t start until earliest July of this year. The Chronicles will keep you posted on the developments involving this bridge.

 

BHC 10 years

Taking You Back: Most Bizarre Encounters with People and Animals

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Peelewatt Viaduct near the EUF in Flensburg

TYB

In connection with the 10th anniversary of the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles, we are starting our first of many initiatives to commemorate 10 years of bridgehunting and preserving historic bridges. Our first one has to do with the topic of bridgehunting and this question:

BRIDGEHUNTING AND THE MOST BIZARRE ENCOUNTERS WITH PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.

Specifically, what was the most bizarre experience that you have ever encountered while photographing or finding bridges?

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Coulee Creek Bridge at Kornhill Rd. near Wadena in Fayette County, Iowa

A pair of stories come to mind while talking about this- both of which happened in 2011, just in two different places.

  1. FLENSBURG, GERMANY- During my stay in April for Easter, I found a tall arch bridge spanning a rail line connecting Flensburg with Kiel- the latter is the capital of Schleswig-Holstein. Known by locals as the Peelewatt Viaduct, the best photos were the ones in an open field near the campus of the European University of Flensburg, as well as right up at the tracks. The only challenge: fighting through bushes of thorns that separated the open field and the main highway passing the university. After minutes of fighting through them, I marched towards the bridge, only to be greeted by two different unpleasantries: a couple having sex next to a tree and their Rotweiler dog making a charge towards me, growling and snarling, as I retreated back into the thorny bushes! Eventually I found another way to the viaduct but not before encountering people who saw me as if Rocky Balboa had just finished a boxing match with Clubber Lang- scratched and bruised. Luckily not bitten by the hound.
  2. FAYETTE COUNTY, IOWA- This happened shortly before the Historic Bridge Weekend in St. Louis and I was looking around for some historic bridges. I find a two-span culvert spanning a creek on Kornhill Road near Wadena. Because of the material used for construction and its unique railings, I stopped for a pair of pics, including one on the side. That didn’t bode well for one nearby property owner who ran half-naked down the hill to confront me, accusing me of being a hunter. When he realized I was photographing a bridge, I was allowed to leave but not before taking this advice: “Ask first before entering.” Since when was a ditch private property?

These are just two examples. The question is what about you, not just as a bridgehunter but also a photographer or someone who just found a diamond for a crossing?

Feel free to add your story by using two options:

  1. You can write yours in the comment section or
  2. You can send your story via mail and it will be added as an article separately.

Photos are welcomed. If you want to use a pseudo-name to protect your real identity, it is fully ok. Privacy is just as important as the story itself. Stories will be accepted throughout the year. Give us your best story!

Have fun! 🙂

BHC 10 years