SAHARA Highlights: Bridges

Jun 11, 2018 by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors

This month we glimpse some examples of the incredible variety and number of bridges in SAHARA. They span the globe, from ancient to contemporary, modest wooden footbridges to engineering marvels, iconic to obscure. As usual it was very difficult to make a selection. Please explore the amazing contributions from our members to see how rich the collection is.

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Rio Cobre Bridge, Kingston, Jamaica. Thomas Wilson, engineer, 1801. This cast iron bridge which connects Spanish Town and Kingston was constructed by Walker and Co. in Rotherham, England, and shipped to Jamaica.  It is the earliest cast iron bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Photo: Jeff Klee, 2011.

20K v07 Bridge House, Greensboro, Alabama, US. By Auburn University Rural Studio, 2008. Photo: Anna Goodman, 2010.

Hoge Brug (Hoe Bridge or Python Bridge), Amsterdam, Netherlands. Designed by West 8, 2001. The bridge spans the canal between Sporenburg and Borneo Island in Eastern Docklands. Photo: Mesut Dinler.

Teufelsbrücke (Devil’s Bridge), Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel, Germany. Designed by Giovanni Francesco Guerniero, under Heinrich Christoph Jussow, ca 1780-1805. Photo: Lauren Soth.

Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran. This bridge was built in the Safavid period by Shah Abbas II.  The traveler Jean Chardin (1643-1713) declared it "the culminating monument of Persian bridge architecture and one of the most interesting bridges extant...where the whole has rhythm and dignity and combines in the happiest consistency, utility, beauty, and recreation." Photo: Mehdi Azizkhani, 2016.

Meems Bottom Bridge, Shenandoah, Virginia, US. Built by John Woods in 1894; steel beams and new road surface added 1937; all but truss destroyed by arson 1976 and rebuilt 1976-1979. Photo: Dell Upton, 1979.

Rock Island Railroad Bridge (or Clinton Park Bridge) on the Arkansas River in Little Rock, Arkansas, US. Built as a swing bridge in 1899, it was converted to a lift-span in 1972, and to a pedestrian bridge in 2010-11. Photo: Ann Burns, 2006.

Bridge at the Jiangnan section of the Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal, Suzhou, China. The 1,104 mile-long canal was begun in the 5th century BC, with all parts joined and completed 581-618CE. Photo: Dell Upon, 2006.

The Bridge of Aspiration, which connects the Royal Ballet School to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, UK. Wilkson Eyre Architects, 2003.  Photo: Peter Sealy, 2011.