The consensus among archaeologists is about 13,000 or more years ago humans crossed from Beringia, Asia to enter North America over what is known as the Bering Land Bridge. The mystique of structures and the fascination involved in forging pathways from one place that connects to another has made the bridge among our most ancient technologies.
Through time bridges have inspired us. In literature, they often symbolize an obstacle that must be overcome or a transition from one state to another. The very structure breathes an indelible sense of romance and adventure into countless storylines and inhabits the canvas of many great artworks throughout the ages. Ode’s remain evidence of man’s striking love affair with this form of architecture and engineering and we remain in awe of bridges today.
Approximately 2000 years ago, the great architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio advised the Roman Emperor that “Structures shall be safe, functional, and beautiful!” Once the times of Emperors and Kings passed the word economical became part of that list. Bridges all over the world, no matter how old, can be placed into four basic categories: girder bridges, arch bridges, cable-stayed bridges, and suspension bridges. Bridges can be primitive, industrial, elegant, graceful, whimsical, picturesque, perilous, ornate, high, low, quaint, rustic, and many other adjectives- in the modern era they have become more sophisticated.
On bridges-we traverse, sightsee, paint, photograph, fall in love and even fall to our death from them. They hold a historical diary if you will. Most of us are familiar with the most recognizable names and famous locations of bridges in America and across the world. Here is a brief video review of those:
Many of the Right Wire Report community wanted to add to the beautiful and intriguing bridges list with those closer to home. Sometimes taking virtual footsteps through others’ memories of places can be an adventure all of its own. We hope you enjoy the expedition through this photo series.
THE PHOTO GALLERY:
(Click on any photo and select Play to see in auto-gallery mode.)
Ladybay – Bible’s Bridge Greene county, East Tennessee.
Built in 1923, the bridge stretches across Little Chuckey Creek at a ford that connects the Bible farm with the Warrensburg Road. In 1948, the bridge was deeded to Greene County and in 1975 it became a historical structure. Restoration of the bridge was completed in the fall of 2004 by the Greene County Highway Department with the help of a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
By lr999 daughter’s- “Bridges of East Texas.”
The East Texas region ranges from the piney woods bordering Louisiana and Arkansas to the prairies on the eastern edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and from Oklahoma south to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Bridges being a crucial infrastructure of any region demonstrates how Texas became an integral part of American – from the past to the present day.
Martin Potashner – an artist rendering of trains and bridges in America. Martin has been painting since he was 10. These choices of paintings displayed are from Martin’s art studio gallery where he conducts regular art classes for aspiring new artists he meets.
Classy Conservative – Truss Bridge in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has a rich railroad history, at its peak, back in 1920, it had over 11,000 miles of track and presently. Railroads in Pennsylvania peaked at 11,693 miles of roadway in 1920, and Pennsylvania was generally considered to be the top third most railroad mileage state in the United States. Today, approximately 35% of all freight commerce in the nation still passes through Pennsylvania, consisting of approximately 5,500 miles of track.
Wrenchbender13 – Duluth, Minnesota.
Aerial Lift Bridge or Aerial Ferry Bridge is a landmark in the port city of Duluth, Minnesota. The span began life in 1905 as the United States’ first transporter bridge: Only one other was ever constructed in the country, Sky Ride in Chicago.
Bekah Lyons – East Tennessee
A Stone Bridge, we call “Troll’s Crossing”, near Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, Franklin Tn. “The Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile national scenic byway, and National Park, closely follows the course of the ancient trace traveled for centuries by tradesmen and Native Americans from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee passing through Williamson County. Many travelers think the double arch bridge is the highlight of this scenic road trip! The Trace is one of only six of our country’s “All American Roads”. Experience the Trace by scenic drive, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and camping.”
SkyBridge (Suspension) Gatlinburg
“Located at the top of the iconic SkyLift, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and the most spectacular experience in the Smokies. From the mountain-top SkyDeck, the SkyBridge quite literally crosses the sky as it stretches 680 feet across a deep valley in a single span.”
Shelby Rhinehart Bridge Pittsburg TN ( 1981) is a modern bowstring tied-arch steel through truss bridge over the Tennessee River.
Watercolor rendering of Pont de Besalú, Bridge over the Fluvià river in Catalonia, Spain. This is a Romanesque bridge with arches & defense towers that dates back to the Middle Ages. This is the entrance into an amazing quaint medieval village with breathtaking views of the lush green hillsides and the Santa Maria ruins perched high. Our lodging was in the 12th Century Jewish quarters and our balcony view caught the shades of the Pont de Besalú, at dusk.
Blueagent007 weekend trip to the interior of France that few Americans visit.
Traveling for a weekend jaunt to the interior of France one can explore the region of Isère nestled in the French southern Alps (click map to expand). Starting from a rather non-descript city of Valance, one quickly enters a majestic Alpinian region in France that few American folks visit. The Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans aqueduct (see translated history) is a water bridge of a length of 235 meters, with a height of 35 meters. Initially planned during the times of Napolean, it was finally completed between 1876 and 1878 to bring irrigation water to the agricultural plain of Valencia through a system of canals extending over 118 kilometers.
Once you have completed your romantic yet historical aqueduct visit, continue on a few more kilometers to the town of Pont-en-Royans. The town appears to take you back to the late 1800s and how the people of this period once lived. Have a visit and lunch at the Musee L’eau (water museum). The region is full of flowing waterfalls and streams coming from the year-round cool crisp Alps that surround you. On the menu is Truite Aux Amandes – the local delicacy. Trout are teaming in all the streams and rivers in the area. If you have a few hours to relax, day fishing licenses with a fishing rod are available. The only thing you will hear is the babbling waters with the occasional trout popping up to say, “Bon après-midi, attrape-moi si tu peux.” A trip that has a memory that one can keep for a lifetime.
ConservativeRep1 – My Birthplace of Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Dunlap’s Creek Bridge was the first arch bridge in the United States built of cast iron. It was designed by Richard Delafield and built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Constructed from 1836 to 1839 on the National Road in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, it remains in use today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Artist rendering before the town was built up around the bridge.
What it looks like today.
My youth was spent in Northeast Ohio. Here is Roebling Suspension Bridge(1866) connecting Covington, Kentucky with Cincinnati. Ohio.
I lived as an adult in NOLA for years and this is the longest bridge in America. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway measures 126,122 feet long (that’s around 24 miles) with the first bridge taking 14 months to build with a budget of $30 million (in 1956 money).
LucyMK19 from Canada.
Confederation Bridge in Borden-Carlton, Canada. The Confederation Bridge is a box girder bridge carrying the Trans-Canada Highway across the Abegweit Passage of the Northumberland Strait, linking the province of Prince Edward Island with the province of New Brunswick on the mainland.
Pam. T. from Oregon.
St. John’s Bridge Portland, Oregon. This bridge was the prototype for the Golden Gate Bridge with gothic spires that soar to kiss the clouds. It is built over a park with green spaces which make sit one of the most visited scenic attractions in the state.
So, the next time you encounter an interesting or beautiful bridge, take time to appreciate how this often majestic structure has tamed landscapes, connected people, helped build a nation, or stands as a testament to human ingenuity and creativity. Long stand the glorious bridge.
Let us know in the comments below what is your favorite bridge, why, and where it is located.