BHC Newsflyer: 19 August 2019

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Available on podcast by clicking here.

 

 

Headlines and additional information:

Flehe Bridge. Photo by Wiegels via wikiCommons

40-year old cable-stayed suspension bridge in Dusseldorf under the knife for five years.

Information on the bridge

Interview with Norbert Cleve (In German)

Rudolf-Wissell-Viaduct. Photo taken by Angela Monika Arnold for wikiCommons

The Spaghetti Interchange at Dreieck Funkturm and the Rudolf-Wissell-Viaduct in Berlin to be rebuilt- Commuters planning for the Worst

News article on the project

Information on the replacement viaduct

 

Wieck Drawbridge. Photo taken by Laplaender for wikiCommons

Sailboat rams historic Wieck Drawbridge in Greifswald, forcing it to close.

Article on the accident

Information on the bridge

 

New Love Lock railings for historic bridge in Herford in Westphalia

Article on the Harta Bridge in Herford

Bridge Tour Guide

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Photo taken by Raymond Klein

 

Historic Truss Bridge with an unusual skew to be rehabilitated in Pennsylvania

Information on the Bridge and project

 

The Upper Hurricane Road Bridge in Alabama Relocated and being Rehabbed

Information on the Bridge with photos

Information on the relocation of the Bridge

Information on the Sharon Johnston Park

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Skyview of the Cherry Lane Bridge. Photo taken by Dan Lahie for bridgehunter.com

Two bridges in Idaho to be replaced.

Information on the Cherry Lane Truss Bridge in Nez Perce County

Information on the Fun Farm Truss Bridge and Sale of structure in Fremont County

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The search for Information on the Viaduct in Mittweida, Germany and the Inventor of his truss design, Ernest M. Wichert

Mystery Bridge Article on the Viaduct

Biography on Ernest Wichert to date

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Plus: Information on the Iron and Steel Preservation Conference in October in Michigan

 

Click on the links highlighted in blue to read more in addition to listening to the Podcast. 🙂

 

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Newsflyer: 5 August, 2019

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Champ Clark Bridge before its replacement bridge was built. Photo taken by Steve Conro in 2012.

 

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To listen to the podcast in detail, please click here.

Articles in connection with the headlines:

Pont des Trous in Tournais. Photo taken by Jean-Pol Grandmond (wikiCommons)

Historic Bridge in Tournai (Belgium) Dating back to the 13th Century Removed

News article on the Bridge removal

Information on the City of Tournai

Flooding Destroys Historic Bridge in Yorkshire (UK), threatens Cycling World Cup

News article on the flooding

Information on the Cycling World Cup.

Anderson Bridge in Singapore: One of three bridges gazetted as national Monuments. Photo by Kensang via wikiCommons

Three historic bridges and an open park in Singapore to be declared national Monuments

News article via Strait Times

Details on the three bridges via Strait Times

Tour Guide on the Bridges of Singapore (now a candidate for the 2019 Bridgehunter  Awards in Tour Guide International).

New Harmony Bridge in Indiana Gets a New Owner: Rehabilitation and Reopening Planned

Article on the Harmony Way Bridge Act

Information on the Harmony Way Bridge via bridgehunter.com

 

Champ Clark Bridge’s replacement span open; old Bridge coming down

Information on the Bridge and replacement project

Karnin Lift Bridge as of today. Photo by Kläuser via wikiCommons

The Reactivation of the railroad line to Usedom Island (Germany) and the Karnin Lift Bridge Close to Reality

Article on the Reactivation Project

Information on the Karnin Lift Bridge

The Bridge of Asel when water levels of Lake Eder are at its lowest. Photo taken in 2017 by Hubert Beberich via wikiCommons Levels have reached even lower since this photo was taken.

Low Waters make for Discovery of Atlantis in a Lake in Hesse

Article via FFH Frankfurt

Information on Findings via Lake Eder website

 

The Future of the Meadowbrook Park Truss Bridge after the Fire of 2017:

Article (poll included)

Information on the bridge

Feel free to comment in the Comment section below

 

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The Bridges of Lübeck, Germany

Hub Pedestrian Bridge. Photo taken in October 2013

Lübeck, Germany. The home of marzipan. The home of Medieval and Baroque architecture. Situated just west of the historic boundaries that had once separated East and West Germany  but is today Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Pommerania, the city of 230,000 inhabitants, the second largest city in the state behind Kiel, is home to two universities, and is a magnet for tourists, as it is only 15 minutes by train south of the Baltic Sea on the Trave River. As it has three rivers and a pair of man-made canals in and around the historic Old Town (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), it is not surprising that the city has one of the most populous bridges in Germany, ranking up there with Hamburg, Berlin, Erfurt and Nuremberg, just to name a few.  As many as 230 bridges are known to exist in Lübeck as well as the neighboring beach community of Travemünde. 19 of them are located in and around the historic Old Town, spanning the Trave River as well as parts of the harbor and the Lübeck-Elbe Canal, which tangents the Old Town to the southeast before going south towards the Elbe at Lauenburg, 80 kilometers south of the city. That canal was built between 1895 and 1900 by Peter Rehder, whose bridge in Lübeck is named after him.

Just recently, I had an opportunity to visit these bridges as part of our tour through Lübeck with my wife and daughter. Many of these bridges can be seen via boat while others are within 5-10 minute walking distance inside the Old Town.  Many of these structures have survived the onslaught of World War II, where 30% of the center was destroyed by air raids. Others were built in a fashionable way 15 years ago.  In either case, this tour will take you through the old town and to each of the bridges and their histories. Photos of the bridges can be viewed by clicking on the name of the bridge.  One of the bridges, the Herrenbrücke, will be featured in a separate article, for a book was written on the double-bascule bridge, which has been replaced by a tunnel.

We’ll start with the Canal Crossings before going to the Trave River ones.

Lübeck-Elbe Canal:

Hub Bridges:  The first crossing along the Canal is located at the mouth leading into the Trave River. The bridge features three different crossings, each measuring between 42 and 45 meters in length. Two of them are hydraulic vertical lift spans, each featuring riveted Parker truss spans. The river side of the bridge used to serve rail traffic which ran along the river before it was discontinued in the 1980s. That crossing was later fixed in an elevated form and left there to allow ships to continue passing through. The center portion of the bridge is open to vehicular traffic and connects Unter der Trave with Hafenstrasse. This still functions as a hydraulic vertical lift bridge today and, as you can see in the video here, one can see the span be hoisted in 2-3 minutes’ time from the neighboring Burgtorbrücke. The pedestrian bridge on the canal side is a steel through arch bridge with portal and strut bracings similar to the now extant Fort Keogh Bridge in Montana (USA). That crossing is the only fixed span built when the three crossings were built between 1896 and 1898. Rehder and C. Hoppe were the contractors for the three crossings as they were built as part of the five-year project to canalize the city. Despite the railroad bridge being decommissioned, the crossings are clearly delegated to pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers to ensure their safety in crossing the structures. The tower located next to the three bridges serves as the control station for the center span. Its fancy Baroque design matches that of the architecture one can see in Lübeck.

Here are the links to the photos of the three crossings:

Railroad Through Truss

Vehicular Through Truss

Pedestrian Through Arch

 

Burgtorbrücke-  At 210 meters, the deck cantilever truss bridge using a Pratt truss design, is the only bridge in the city’s history to originally be built to span the Wakinitz River before the Canal was built in 1898. The original bridge was supposedly built in 1806 connecting the Old Town at Burgtor with the northern part of the city where Gustav Radbruch Platz is now located. The span was later replaced in 1898 with a cantilever suspension bridge that was three times the length of the original span and with the same height as the present-day structure. That bridge was replaced in 1910 with the present structure and since that day, has continued serving traffic on the east side of the city, connecting the Old Town with Travemünde and points to the north and east. The nearby Gustav Radbruch Platz is the eastern hub for all bus services serving the city and beyond.  The concrete lion statues, conceived by artist Fritz Behn in 1913, were placed at the northern portals of the bridge in 1931 and are a site not to miss, together with the concrete ornamental railings and the Burgtor Gate that is located right next to the bridge to the south.

 

Photo taken in October 2013

Klughafen Pedestrian Bridge- In an earlier article posted on the Chronicles (click here), we had a pop quiz to ask you when the bridge was built and whether this bridge is movable or not. The answer to these two questions took even the author by surprise, given the nature of how the boat tour guide told the story. While the trusses may have indicated that it was built 100 years ago and it was rehabilitated 15 years ago, it was actually built in 1994. And while the vertical beams holding the center span indicate a potential vertical lift bridge that would have been one of a kind, it only serves as a way of keeping the span from falling into the canal. Hence the comment that the bridge “was a decoration” serving pedestrians. Yet the almost 20-year old is beset by problems to be addressed by the city council, and that is vandalism by spray-painting. Instead of the pine green color it presents, the bridge is covered with various colors and shapes, some of which are deemed inappropriate. It will not be surprising if this pedestrian bridge receives a makeover in the coming years ahead.

 

Hüxtertorbrücke- No German city is not complete without this type of bridge: a steel arch bridge whose upper chord represents Pratt trusses curving from one end to another.  One can find this bridge in cities like Munich, Berlin, Leipzig and Cologne (the last city is famous for its Hollernzollern Bridge). Plus there were some that had existed in places, like Kiel, before they were razed in favor of more modern bridges. The Hüxtertor Bridge, named after the gate that was destroyed in World War II and is now dominated by the Discothek, is one of the smaller of these bridge types. It was built in 1927 and is a pony arch bearing a pale lime green color. It features typical 1920s style lighting supported by concrete towers. The bridge carries Hüxterdamm, connecting the city center with Falkenplatz and its adjacent Volkshochschule (Institute of Continuing Education).

 

Rehderbrücke:  Located next to Hüxtertorbrücke on Krähenstrasse, this bridge was named after the man who built the canal but was built in 1936. The bridge type is deck plate girder with cantilever features, and the black bridge’s typical feature are the rollers on the concrete piers. These not only support the bridge itself, but they serve as devices for expansion (during the warm months) and contraction (during the cold months).

Mühlentorbrücke:  Apart from the Burgtorbrücke, this bridge is one of the most ornamental bridges built of steel that had existed in Lübeck before World War II. The bridge was built at the time of the construction of the Canal (1899-1900) and featured finials on towers that included ornamental lighting on it. The bridge itself is unusual in three ways: 1. The towers are supported by prefabricated curved steel beams which is also hold the vertical suspenders that attach to the road. It is not an eyebar suspension bridge, like the Three Sister Bridges of Pittsburgh, for these steel encased cables are stiff providing more tension to the top part of the bridge. 2. The roadway supported by the steel beams is diagonal to the towers that are built parallel to the riverbank. With the exception of the Swinemünde Bridge at Gesundbrünnen Station in Berlin (which is cantilever), the Mühlentor Bridge is one of the rarest suspension bridges that has such a unique feature.  3. And while there is no horizontal beam supporting the towers, like other suspension bridges, this bridge also features cantilever deck trusses as the support for the decking, rendering the towers and encased cables as useless. Henceforth this bridge is unique in itself and will most likely be considered a national landmark if it has not happened already.

Possehlbrücke-  The last bridge along the canal is the Possehlbrücke. Built in 1956, the bridge is a prestressed, and pretensioned concrete girder bridge serving Possehlstrasse between the Old Town and points going southwards. The bridge represents a classic example of concrete bridges that took too much vehicular traffic resulting in cracks in the concrete superstructure and other structural issues. Albeit restricted to traffic up to 7.5 tons since 2012, the bridge’s days are definitely numbered. Earlier this month, the city council voted unanimously to demolish the structure in favor of a new structure. Construction will start in Spring 2014 and will take over a year to complete. Tourists travelling by boat will be seeing cranes and diggers at the site in the coming year instead of the picture the author took.

Trave River:

Wipper Bridge and the Cathedral.

Wipperbrücke- Spanning the city arm of the Trave River as the first crossing entering the river, this 1744 structure is the only one that is built using brick, the same material used on much of the infrastructure in Schleswig-Holstein (and much of Lübeck). The first crossing  was a pedestrian bridge built in 1644 before it was widened to accommodate horse and buggy and later automobiles. The bridge is located 200 meters south of the Lübeck Cathedral and can be photographed together when travelling by boat. An even closer shot of the church can be made after passing underneath the structure and going 100 meters further. Both are a must

Wall Bridge- Spanning the tributary connecting the Trave and the Stadtgraben carrying Possehlstrasse near the Wipperbrücke, this closed spandrel arch bridge was built in the 1920s but was widened to accommodate traffic. It serves as a connecting point between the Old Town and Possehlbrücke.

Dankwärtsbrücke- Spanning the Trave River at Dankwärtsgrube, the Dankwärtsbrücke is one of three pedestrian bridges spanning this river in Lübeck’s Old Town. It holds the title of being the only wooden bridge in the city, and one that has a lot of charm and is still being visited by thousands of people each day. The crossing is the second one in use and follows the original construction of the bridge built 200 years earlier but was replaced in 2004 due to structural issues.

Professor’s Bridge- Located between Dankwärtsbrücke and Holstentor, the pedestrian bridge was the work of Peterson and Pörksen, architects whose office is located in Lübeck and neighboring Hamburg. Built in 2007 as part of the plan to convert the Trave into a tourist boating port, the concrete bridge features a beam span supported by V-shaped piers which creates a trapezoidal shape with the point in the center of the bridge. This is important to allow boats to pass. The churches can be seen by this bridge.

Holstentorbrücke- Despite its length of 30 meters and being a single span closed spandrel concrete arch bridge, this bridge is perhaps the oldest that ever existed, located at the world renowned Holstentor Gate, the most used landmark of the city in terms of marzipan, paintings, souvenirs and the like. The bridge was first mentioned in 1216 when it was built as a wooden bridge. It was destroyed by flooding in 1320, and between that time and 1516, the bridge was rebuilt three times, with the third crossing being a stone arch bridge. The next bridge resembled the Rialto Bridge in Venice and lasted over 300 years before it was replaced in 1853 by a short span crossing that accomodated both rail and horse-traffic. While the rail line, originally connecting Lübeck Railway station and the harbor was discontinued in the early 1930s, vehicles continued using the bridge, hence the widening of the structure in 1934 to its current shape and form.

Beckerbrücke- Spanning the Untertrave, the pedestrian bridge connects the Lübeck Convention Center with the Beckergrube and provides a direct link to the center of the Old Town with its churches and shopping area. A person needs only seven minutes between St. Jacob’s Church and the Convention Center. The bridge was built in 2004 and features a beam span supported by a set of two-column piers.

Drehbrücke (Swing Bridge)Spanning the Untertrave at Willy-Brandt Allee between St. Lorenz and the Old Town, the bridge is one of only a couple swing bridges left in Schleswig-Holstein that is in operation. The bridge features a curved Howe pony truss, where there are three trusses, the center one of which separates two lanes of traffic. Built in 1892, it is the third oldest bridge left in operation and features a swing mechanism where a combination of rollers and hydraulics are used to swing the bridge open at a 60° angle, allowing ships and boats to pass through the crossing. A video shows the bridge closing after the boats pass through (click here).  Originally used for rail traffic connecting the train station and the harbor ports to the north via Hub Bridges, the bridge was converted to vehicular use in the 1980s and has operated for 121 years with little repairs done on it. The bridge is located next to a famous fish restaurant where a person can dine on some of the city’s specialties with a glass of wine and watch the ships pass through  as the bridge swings open and close.  The bridge is located next to another railroad bridge approximately 200 meters away. The Warren pony truss span with riveted connections spans part of the harbor and can be seen from the train station. It has been sitting abandoned for over a decade, awaiting reuse.

Eric Warburg Bridge- Losing the Herrenbrücke was a blow that the City of Lübeck did not want. Fortunately, the Eric Warburg Bridge was built at the time the 1964 two-span drawbridge was being demolished because of the tunnel. Yet this bridge had been in the planning phases for over a century, starting off with the plan by Peter Rehder to build it closer to the Old Town along the Lübeck-Elbe Canal. Yet the plan was tabled due to opposition from the citizens, as well as the two World Wars. Yet in 2004, the need to establish the connection between the Old Town and St. Gertrud justified the need for a single-leaf draw bridge, which took four years to build. The bridge features a blue-colored steel beam bridge with a center span that opens at regular intervals, controlled by the grey shaped control tower. A video shows you how the bridge works (click here).  Since the Herrenbrücke was removed in 2008, the bridge is the last crossing over the Trave before emptying into the Baltic Sea 10 kilometers to the north at Travemünde.

The bridge also has a history involving a prominent citizen. Eric Warburg, a banker from Hamburg, was of Jewish origin and contributed a great deal to saving many lives during World War II. After emigrating to the US in 1938, he served the American army and helped many people escape the tyranny of Adolf Hitler and his killing machine aimed at exterminating the Jews before and during the war. After Lübeck was heavily damaged during air raidson 29 March, 1942, in which 20% of the historic Old Town was destroyed, Warburg knew of the plan for another series of air raids that would eventually destroy the rest of the city and informed his cousin Carl Jacob Burckhardt, president of the International Red Cross about it. Together, the city was declared a neutral zone and a port where humanitarian aide would enter Germany. The plan was successful and not only was Lübeck spared, but it  was declared neutral governed by the Red Cross until the end of the war in 1945. For his work as well as his engagement in German-American relations, the Emil Warburg Prize was introduced in 1988 and given to people who performed great deeds for keeping the German-American relations sound. Among those receiving the prize were Richard von Weizsäcker (German president from 1984 to 1994), Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State under Richard Nixon) and former US President George HW Bush.

And as icing on the cake…

Puppenbrücke (EN: Bridge of Statues):

The last bridge on this tour is a must-see if you are a pontist or love history. The Bridge of Statues spans the Stadtgraben providing the lone important link between Holstentor and the Old Town to the east and Lübeck’s Railway Station and Bus Depot to the west. The bridge’s history dates back to the 1700s, when the bridge was built using wood. Yet the stone arch bridge was first constructed in 1773 and widened to accomodate traffic in 1907. The bridge features eight different sandstone sculptures on the railings, which includes the statue of the Woman of Peace, which is the answer to the question posed in an earlier article (click here). Each statue represents either a god or a different symbol, which was described further in detail by René and Peter van der Grodt and can be viewed here. These statues were made by Dietrich Jürgen Boy and P.H. Gnekow in 1774 and had been in place until 1985 when they were replaced by replicas and the originals were taken to the St. Anna’s Museum where they can be seen today but under protection from pollution. The bridge also features four different seals called reliefs, each located on one corner of the spandrel of the bridge, representing Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Those can be seen from boat or by climbing down to the shoreline of the Stadtgraben.

After touring through the Old Town and visiting each of the bridges mentioned here, which will take a day to complete when walking by foot and a couple hours by boat, one should not forget to try the marzipan products, including the marzipan pie provided by the family owned but world renowned Niederegger candy and restaurant, while at the same time, listen about the history of another bridge that used to exist in the city but a tunnel had taken its place. A book was written about this bridge and its history and in the second part on the series, we will have a look at the rise and fall of the Herrenbrücke, located north of Lübeck in the village of Siems, once an industrial port but now a faded memory.

 

The Bridges of Lübeck, Germany: Preview

Photo taken in October 2013

 

Marzipan, architecture, labskaus, and the Baltic Sea. Those are the characteristics of the city of Lübeck, located on the Trave River west of the border to Mecklenburg-Pommerania in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany. With a population of 220,000 inhabitants, the second largest city in the state (and sixth largest in northern Germany behind Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Kiel, and Brunswick) prides itself on its architecture, as the Altstadt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the key ports to the Baltic Sea, which is 10 km to the north.  Even the historic bridges in the city is a must-see if you are a pontist or have an interest in the city’s bridges.

I had a chance to tour the bridges in Lübeck most recently, as part of a short hiatus to see what the city has to offer. This included a tour of the ones in Altstadt by boat and learning about the history of each one. Before digging in on the tour, there are five questions to test your knowledge on the city let alone encourage you to do some research on them. The answers will be provided in the next article dealing with this particular topic.

So let’s start off with the Five Fragen for the Forum, shall we?

  1. Look at the picture of the statue. This was one of eight statues that can be found on which bridge? (Can you name the statue in addition to that?)
  2.  How many movable bridges exist in Lübeck? (Can you name them?)
  3. One of the movable bridges is a bascule bridge. What is it and what types exist? What bridge type is this one?
  4. The last crossing along the Trave before emptying into the Baltic Sea is located where?
  5. Which bridge is the oldest extant bridge in Lübeck?

And a pair of non-bridge bonus questions for you to ponder:

6. How do you make marzipan? What candy company makes this candy?

7. What is labskaus?

You can leave your comments here or on any of the social network pages bearing the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles. The answers will come in the next week or so to allow you some time to guess or research and share your answers online.  Sister column The Flensburg Files will feature a few articles on this city from a couple perspectives worth noting which will also be posted on the Chronicles’ facebook and twitter pages.

But in the meantime, as there are a couple lose ends to cover beforehand, happy guessing! 🙂

Bridgehunter’s Chronicles Newsflyer: 10 May 2012

Greensburg Pike Bridge to be demolished this year. Photo taken in August 2010

 

May and June are perhaps one of the busiest months when it comes to historic preservation and bridges in general. A lot of important events are coming up that will provide people with a chance to either visit the historic bridge as part of their travel itinerary or take part in some contests and conferences. Here are some examples of upcoming events for you to keep in mind:
Photo Contests Commemorating National Historic Landmarks in the United States:
Once a year the National Park Service hosts a photo contest for photographers and historians alike, who want to showcase their talent to others and encourage others to take pride in the national landmarks in the US. Between now and 13 June, contestants can take advantage of the opportunity to “spice up” their digital photos for the right picture and submit them via flickr to the National Park Service. Please limit your entries to 10 photos per person but ONE photo per National Landmark. There are over 2,500 National Landmarks in the US but additional rules can be found here.  I’ve already chosen my pics to enter and I hope others will take part or at least encourage others to show their talent and their pride towards American history and enter. Good luck!

Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference in Vermont:
For those interested in historic preservation per se, or would like to know more on how to bridge the gap between historic preservation policy and practice (successes and shortcoming), there is the 18th annual Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference scheduled to take place on 8 June at Memorial Hall in Wilmington. Located in southern Vermont, the town was one of many that was devastated by Hurricane Irene in August of last year, but residents have been resilient in their successful attempts of restoring the historic town. This conference will feature many presentations including the importance of Main Street and recycling buildings. Tying education and preservation together is another topic that will be brought to the attention of the public through a presentation by Kaitlin O’shea-Healy of Preservation in Pink in the presentation entitled How Historic Preservation Involves YOU.  Cost are $35 for non-residents of Wilmington and accommodations are plenty. More information can be found here.

Historic Bridges in Erfurt in the Limelight:
There are over 25 historic bridges that exist in the capital of Thuringia, located in central Germany. Hans-Joerg Vockrodt and Dietrich Baumbach are the main source of authority when it comes to the history of bridges, some of which date back to the 12th century and have been since producing their own works in the 1990s and their first book on Erfurt’s bridges in 1994. Their second piece on the history of Erfurt’s bridges was released last year and on 23 May at 7:00pm at the Stapp book store in Erfurt, they will be presenting this topic to those interested in knowing about this topic. The cost for participating is three Euros. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles will be there live and an interview with the authors will be in the works for the posting on Erfurt’s historic bridges and the book itself. Stay tuned.
German:  Es gibt über 25 Brücken in Erfurt, die Landeshauptstadt Thüringens, die im Mitteldeutschland liegt. Die Autoren, Hans-Jörg Vockrodt und Dietrich Baumbach sind die Hauptquellen für die Geschichte Erfurts Brücken, welche davon seit dem 12. Jahrhundert existiert haben, und sie haben seit der 90er Jahren über dieses Thema geschrieben, unter Anderem das erste Buch, das 1994 erschienen ist. Das zweite Buch über dieses Thema wurde im letzten Jahr veröffentlicht  und am 23. Mai um 19:00, findet ein Vortrag darüber in der Buchhandlung Stapp in Erfurt statt für diejenigen, die sich für dieses Thema interessieren. Die Eintrittkosten beträgt drei Euros. Die Bridgehunter’s Chronicles ist Live dabei und ein Artikel sowie ein Interview mit den Autoren werden geplant. 
Golden Gate Bridge to be 75 years old:
It took over 3 years, losing 21 people in the process, to achieve this feat. For 75 years, it has withstood the heavy currents of the Golden Gate as well as the earthquakes that shook the region, especially counting the 1989 earthquake. It has become a symbol for the city of San Francisco and the state of California, was used in many films, like Star Trek and Superman, and has been widely recognized by many who visit the USA from outside. This May, the Golden Gate Bridge will turn 75 years old and during the weekend of 27 May, a celebration marking its birthday will take place on the bridge. Information on the events can be found here.
Unfortunately though, the celebrations will take place without any survivors of the bridge construction. Jack Balestreri and Edward Ashoff, the last two surviving men who contributed to the building of the Golden Gate Bridge died recently due to old age and illness. An obituary of the two can be read here. These two plus a handful of others received the key to San Francisco by mayor Dianne Feinstein at the 50th anniversary celebration in 1987, it was put on display at the memorial services for Balestreri.
On a somber note, there are some bridges in the news that deserve to be mentioned as they have been a target of attempts to preserve them, most of which were to no avail due to either lack of funding or lack of interest in saving them. Here are some examples of bridges that are coming out soon:
Hulton Bridge in Pittsburgh (USA):

Built in 1909, the bridge was named after Jonathan Hulton, one of the first settlers of the Oakmont village located along the Allegheny River northeast of Pittsburgh. The bridge is famous for its long span- a 500-foot Pennsylvania petit main span with Parker truss approach spans, all colored in lavender. Sadly because of the high amount of cars crossing the bridge on a daily basis- over 25,000 a day to be exact- the bridge is scheduled to be replaced soon. Construction will start in 2013 at the latest and is expected to last two years at a cost of over $80 million. The future of the truss bridge is questionable for attempts by the students of the Carnegie Mellon University to convert the bridge into a pedestrian crossing has been ongoing. The bridge is in really good shape after being rehabilitated and painted in 1991 and has some historic significance, yet PennDOT officials elected to have a 4-lane structure to replace the vintage truss span.  The question is where to construct the bridge as both sides of the bridge are privately owned. At the time of this posting, an engineering firm has been hired to find the right place to build the new span. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles will keep you posted on the latest there. For more information on how to contribute to saving the historic bridge, please contact Todd Wilson of Bridgemapper.com, whose contact information can be found via article on the bridge here.

 

Greensburg Pike Bridge in Pittsburgh (USA):

Work is well underway to replace the Greensburg Pike Bridge in Turtle Creek near Pittsburgh. The seven-span through truss bridge built in 1925 and featuring 45° skews at the portal bracing will remain open through September of this year, while a new bridge is being built downstream from the structure, which afterwards, the roadway will be realigned and the truss spans will be removed. As the bridge spans at least seven tracks of the Norfolk Southern Railroad, attempts will be made to minimize disruptions as the truss bridge will be dismantled. The new bridge is scheduled to be open to traffic by August 2013. More on the bridge replacement is here.

Railroad Underpass at Grevesmuehlen, Germany:

Located about 70 kilometers east of Luebeck in western Mecklenburg-Pommerania in northeastern Germany, the bridge carries a local street in the village of Grevesmuehlen spanning a two-track rail line. The bridge is a Bailey truss bridge, one of many that were built in the late 1940s to replace bridges either severely damaged or destroyed in World War II. Unfortunately, its days have been numbered as the structure has become obsolete and therefore will be replaced with a concrete bridge. Work started recently and the bridge is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic in August of this year. Rail line will not be disrupted but detours will be in place until the project is completed.

The Nussrain Bridge at Bensigheim, Germany:

Located about 80 kilometers south of Heilbronn on the Neckar Canal in Baden Wuerttemberg, the city of Bensigheim has not been too kind to its bridges, as a six-span double-barrel Whipple through truss bridge built in 1874 was replaced in 2006 with the majority of the structure being reduced to scrap metal (a small section was saved as a monument). Now it has problems maintaining its existing bridges. The Nussrain Bridge spanning the Neckar Canal between Bensigheim and Hessigheim is scheduled to be replaced, but in 2016. The reaction from the public has been anything but positive, as the structure, built sometime in the 1950s, is crumbling and it is considered obsolete for accommodating vehicular traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians. The reason for the delay is the bridge project is supposed to be tied together with improving the canal and the roadway that crosses the bridge and constructing the roundabout on the Bensigheim side of the bridge. Work is underway to push up the construction date.

Yet on a positive note, a couple of bridges are about to be rehabilitated as the demand for more stabile structures to accommodate pedestrians are needed. One of them is a covered bridge built 250 years ago located in Switzerland (near Zug).

Kleinodbruecke to be renovated:

Built 250 years ago, the covered bridge spans the Lorzel River between Baar and Menzingen in the Zug Canton and carries pedestrians and cyclists. The covered bridge is protected by Swiss law, but given the increasing amount of traffic, the covered bridge is about to receive a major facelift. New wood siding and approaches will be constructed to replace the ones that have corroded over the years, in addition to repairing some of the wooden truss parts that have dealt with weather extremities. The project has just started and will be completed in September. A substitute bridge is available for pedestrians to use during the time of the bridge work. More information on the bridge can be found here, and the construction project here.  The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles has a link to Switzerland’s covered bridges, which can be accessed here and in the links page in the lower window of the main page.