Water bridge for ships?? Out of the box construction

Water bridges are bridge-like structures that carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or roads. Small ships and boats ply on these waterways. The most popular water bridge is the Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany, the longest and the most impressive in the world.

Magdeburg Water Bridge - Germany



Aqueduct Haak om Leeuwarden - Netherlands

The Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works, the Province of Fryslân and the City of Leeuwarden all worked together on the realisation of this project. The Haak om Leeuwarden opened for traffic on December 18, 2014.

The overall project “De Haak om Leeuwarden” consists of a new highway and connects the existing highway A31, close to the town Marsum, with the road N31 by Hemriksein (Wâldwei). The new highway is 12 km long and has 2 x 2 roadway lanes. This is a very important project for the region as it enhances the accessibility of the City of Leeuwarden and stimulates the region's economic development. It also increases traffic safety as there are more grade separated intersections and less traffic users are opting for detours.


Pontcysyllte Aqueduct - Britain

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, in Wrexham County Borough in Britain, was built between 1795 and 1805 to carry the Ellesmere Canal over the valley of the River Dee to link the coal mines of Denbighshire to the national canal system during the Industrial Revolution. It was one of the world's greatest engineering achievements of the time. For more than 200 years, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain, and currently a World Heritage Site.

The aqueduct is 307 meter long, 3.4 meter wide and 1.60 meter deep, and forms a part of an 18 km long aqueduct system. It consists of a cast iron trough supported 38 meter above the river on iron arched ribs carried on nineteen hollow masonry piers. The use of both cast and wrought iron in the aqueduct enabled the construction of arches that were light and strong, producing an overall effect that is both monumental and elegant.



Barton Swing Aqueduct - England

The Barton Swing Aqueduct is a moveable water bridge in Barton upon Irwell in Greater Manchester, England, that carries the Bridgewater Canal across the Manchester Ship Canal. The swinging action allows large vessels using the Manchester Ship Canal to pass underneath and smaller narrow boats to cross over the top. When large vessels need to pass along the Ship Canal, the 1,450-tonne and 100 meter long iron trough is rotated 90 degrees. A gate at each end of the trough retains around 800 tonnes of water; further gates on each bank retain water in their adjacent stretches of canal. A similar swing bridge, but for road traffic, lies adjacent to, and upstream of, the Barton Swing Aqueduct.

The aqueduct, which is the first and only swing aqueduct in the world is considered a major feat of Victorian civil engineering. Designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams and built by Andrew Handyside of Derby, the swing bridge opened in 1894 and remains in regular use. 

The swing aqueduct (left) in the closed position, showing the Bridgewater canal crossing over the Ship Canal; the Barton Road Swing Bridge is on the right.


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