“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”
– Ansel Adams
Wouldn’t it be awesome if one could paint an image like this?
I captured the underlying image in Amsterdam and stumbled upon it today while I was cleaning up my files. Always nice to go back to these older images and to play around with them.
This bridge once connected Boston’s downtown to South Boston and the fishing piers. It is now permanently closed to vehicular traffic and the bridge remains open for boat traffic. The bridge is not sound for cars or foot travel. Other roads will take you the way the Northern Avenue once did.
After a long but much-deserved vacation, I’m back at my desk where I’m about to start penning some loving odes to historic bridges as well as other adventures I encountered with my family during our road trip through all five of the Great Lakes in the United States and Canada. In the coming weeks, some articles will appear about the bridges along the route that started in Pittsburgh, went through Niagara Falls, then onto Michigan and then terminating in Minnesota, a span of over 1300 miles by car. This will include some tour guides and an interesting boat tour, tied in with a civil engineering conference.
To give you an idea of what you will get from this road trip: A set of pictures of the Mackinac Bridge, the crossroads between land and water. Built in 1957, it spans the strait that connects two of the five lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsula. It is the third longest suspension bridge in the US, behind the Golden Gate and Verrazano Narrows Bridges but is the best known work by David Steinman, who had previously tried to make his name with the Golden Gate but was outdone by Joseph Strauss. The bridge is the most popular attraction of all the bridges in Michigan, with over a dozen books written about it- more than any on a city’s bridges, like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Hamburg (Germany)- a poem was written by the same engineer, and signs leading to the bridge along I-75 and US Hwy. 2 extend for over 150 miles in one direction.
But what is unique about the Big Mack is the many possible ways to photograph it. No matter from which side of the peninsula or even the lake, one cannot go wrong with photographing it, even by ship as I got all but one of the six shots of it. The last one was from the side of Mackinaw City. A big splash for you to enjoy as the Chronicles gets underway after a long absence. Here you go and enjoy! 🙂
A day after posting a guest post on the haunted bridge in New Zealand, the blogger referred me to another bridge that is of interest. It was built a century ago and served as a toll bridge until it was replaced by another toll bridge in 1969. The suspension bridge still stands today but as a relict, yet its history is worth reading as much as visiting it. Details here. Enjoy! 🙂
When driving north along State Highway 56 through the low-lying plains flanking the Manawatu River, a traveller cannot help but notice a suspension bridge to the north of the current road, a tall industrial chimney incongruously positioned at the western end of its span [click here to view map]. Now, its suspension wires dangle without purpose, as if suspended in time as well as space, but this graceful structure still strikes a dignified – if somewhat ghostly profile – on the landscape, hinting at an important role it played in the local economy in the not too distant past.
The old and new Raumai Bridges in 1973, before the old bridge was demolished. This view is looking north-west from No.4 Line. Palmerston North Library courtesy Manawatu Evening Standard
Those who have travelled up the eastern side of Pohangina Valley, to visit Totara Reserve, for example, will have crossed the Raumai Bridge. Those with more life experience may also the old Raumai Bridge, a bridge with a troubled past.
This Bridge Pic of the Week features not just one, but three pics- all of which are of the same bridge. The Rochsburg Suspension is a hidden gem that can be easily missed if a cyclist or tourist does not pay attention to where one is going. The bridge is deep in the Valley of the Zwickau Mulde River, located in the vicinity of Lunzenau. One has to drive over 200 meters down in zig-zagging motion, going through narrow streets lined with houses, plus a railroad underpass in order to get to the bridge. The best photos of the bridge are taken with the castle in the background, as it provides a great backdrop, especially on a nice day like this one, regardless of which angle to choose. I have two of them picked out to give you an idea: this one and the one below:
However, do not be surprised if you see remnance of an older bridge, situated opposite the side of the castle as you cross. I took this one below while at the parking lot next to the bridge:
There is a history that goes along with the Rochsburg Bridge. The present bridge (in the background here) was built in 2011 and is the fourth bridge at this location. The first bridge was built in 1878. The second one replaced it in 1936. Both were destroyed by floodwaters. The bridge in the foreground in this picture here is what is left of the combination cantuilever/suspension bridge that was built in 1954. Unlike the previous two, that bridge survived the Great Flood of 2002 but the structure weakened to a point where construiction of the new was needed. The current bridge was built alongside the old one until it was finished in 2011. Afterwards, this section of bridge was saved and put on display, which was decorated with photos and history of the bridges.
In either case, the Rochsburg Suspension Bridge is a neat crossing that takes you across the river and towards the castle. You can get some great views of the river and Rochsburg while at the same time, learn some history of how the castle and the bridge itself came ínto being. And therefore this bridge is our Pic of the Week.
Note: This is the last regular entry of the Chronicles for now. I’m on holiday/vacation for the next three weeks and therefore, the Chronicles will be on semi-hiatus. However, enjoy the articles posted as well as the tour guides. More will come when the author returns to duty in August. 🙂
You can also follow him through the Flensburg Files. He plans on doing a series on American road trip, looking at it from his own perspective. You can click here, which will redirect you to trhe sister column.
SMITHFLAT (EL DORADO COUNTY), CALIFORNIA- Our next stop on the bridgehunting tour is the Mosquito Road Bridge in El Dorado County, California. Spanning the South Fork American River north of Smithflat, this suspension bridge is very characteristic for its unusual design. It’s a towerless suspension bridge, which means the cables supporting the trussed roadway is anchored by mini-towers that are on the rocks on both sides of the river. Some photos and a film of the contraption will show you what it looks like. The bridge has a wooden deck but approaching the bridge from either side is dangerous because of the steep hills and curves drivers have to endure in order to cross the 245-foot span. The suspension bridge was built in 1939, yet its history goes a lot further back than that, with records of it being built in 1914 and even 40 years earlier.
But times are changing and with that, a new bridge is about to be built. According to county officials, construction will soon begin on a new bridge, which will take two years to complete. It will be three times as long as the suspension bridge and 400 feet higher. A rendering of what the new bridge will look like can be found in the video below.
Unlike most bridge replacements, this one will be a win-win situation. While the new bridge will provide a straighter road going across the bridge with drivers getting a spectacular view of the deep river valley, they will still be treated by the suspension bridge down below that will remain in place and still in use. The suspension bridge is on the National Register for its unique design built during the Works Progress Administration era and like before the bridge, after the bridge, it will still be used for recreation and fishing. For the county with a variety of pre-1950 concrete arch, slabs and steel truss bridges, this project will be of great benefit with regards to tourism.