24 September, 2007

Postcard 10: Bonn, Rheinbrücke

Rhine Bridge

I had trouble gathering information about the bridge on the postcard, which might be the Bonn Rhine Bridge. But after spending almost my whole shift, I found some limited (and sometimes confusing) information about the bridge's history. I just hope that the one being discussed on my source is the Bonn Rhine Bridge on the postcard. So anyone from Germany? I need confirmation for this one.

Below is the picture of the Bonn Rhine Bridge pre-WWII.


One outstanding event was the construction of the first Bonn Rhine bridge, which was officially opened 1898. The people of Beuel, annoyed because this link did not take their shipyard into account, did not contribute a single penny towards the project. Thus, the citizens of Bonn begrudgingly had to foot the bill for what was, at that time, the biggest arched bridge in the world. A manikin on the eastern pier, however, pointed his posterior towards the people of Beuel. During the Second World War, he disappeared along with the bridge into the river but was later recovered and subsequently replaced by a copy, which still points its "ragged-trousered backside” towards Beuel, which is today part of Bonn.

What happened during the
Second World War is that Hitler had decreed that no bridges over the Rhine would be captured intact by the Allies and preparations were made to destroy the bridge to prevent capture. The Bonn Brdige was blown at 9:15 P.M., March 8, 1945, by a Captain of the 6th (German) Engineer Regiment (later captured by the First Division), who had not slept for three days worrying over whether he would be able to blow the bridge at precisely the right moment.

Here's some description on the new bridge: RHINE BRIDGE, COLOGNE-DEUTZ (1946-47)
* Combined road-streetcar bridge.
* First slender steel box girder replacing a chain suspension bridge destroyed during World War II.
* Spans: 132.1-184.5-120.7 meters, girder depth at piers 7.8 meters and at center of midspan 3.3 meters, corresponding to slenderness ratios of 1:24 and 1:56.
* Orthotropic deck with reinforced concrete wearing layer.
* Erection in large elements with heavy lifting equipment.

Too bad the pre-WW2 bridge is much more elegant!

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