🇱🇮 Alte Rheinbrücke or Old Bridge over the Rhine, between Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and Sevelen, Switzerland
Follow along as I highlight one bridge per country for February #onecountryaday
The Alte Rheinbrücke or Old Bridge over the Rhine is one of the longer truss-supported wooden covered bridges in Europe. It connects one of the smallest European countries, the Principality of Liechtenstein (which is only about 15 miles (25 km) long and 5 miles (9 km wide)) across the Rhine River to Switzerland. The Principality is located the valley between the Rhine River along its western Swiss border and the mountains along its eastern Austrian border. The six-span bridge is about 450 ft (135 m) long, only about 10 ft (5 m) shorter than America’s longest historic covered bridge. The bridge’s truss system uses wooden diagonal members as compression members and metal vertical tension members, as with a Howe truss. However it incorporates four distinct sets of diagonal members, so perhaps it can be called a Howe Quadrangular truss. (It is similar to a Town Lattice truss, but this type typically has more sets of crossing diagonals and few, if any, vertical members).
In the mid 1800s, a flood control project was constructed, stabilizing the flow of the Rhine. This allowed bridges to be constructed, so 13 wooden covered bridges were built in the area from 1867 to 1879. This bridge between Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and Sevelen, Switzerland, was first built in 1870, replacing a ferry. From 1900 to 1901, the bridge was rebuilt with the current structure, though in 1927 it was damaged in the resulting flood after a dam broke in Schaan, Liechtenstein. In 1973, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic after the A13 Motorway project on the Switzerland side was constructed, which included an interchange and a new parallel roadway bridge. The Old Rhine Bridge was last renovated in 2009-2010 and is a historic monument today.
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