They look incredible.
The so-called water bridges are bridge structures that support water channels through which it is possible to navigate relatively small vessels. They are built over rivers, valleys, Railways or roads. Although aqueducts were used to supply cities with water for many centuries, they have never been used for the movement up to the XVII century, when they began to appear of the canal system, as we see them in our time.
Presenting you three of the most prominent water bridge in the world. Looking at some photos, you’d think they were made in photoshop. However, these bridges exist and function in real life.
The Magdeburg water bridge (Magdeburg Water Bridge)
The most popular and spectacular water bridge is located in Magdeburg, Germany. It is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world, with a length of 918 meters.
Opened in October 2003 as part of the Magdeburg waterway, it connects the channel to the Elbe-Havel-Kanal with Mittelland channel, crossing the river Elbe on top.
The channels of the Elbe-Havel and Mittelland previously met near Magdeburg but on opposite banks of the Elbe, the water level which is lower than in both channels. Therefore, the courts, swam across from one channel to another, had to do a 12 km loop and use the sluices and slipways. But if we lower the water level in the river for loaded barges and this option became impossible.
The reunification of Germany and establishment of major water transport routes made the water bridge construction a priority. Work began in 1997. In the end, the construction took 6 years and 500 million euros.
The water bridge now connects Berlin’s river port with numerous ports on the river Rhine.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (Pontcysyllte Aqueduct)
Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wrexham, UK, was built in 1795-1805 years to “throw” the Ellesmere canal through the valley of the river Dee and to connect the coal mines of Denbighshire with the national system of canals during the Industrial revolution.
The aqueduct has become one of the most significant global achievements of that time. For over 200 years it remains the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain. In 2009, the aqueduct Pontcysyllte was listed in the world heritage list of UNESCO.
The length of the aqueduct is 307 meters, width – 3.4 meters, depth – 1.6 m. It is part of the 18-kilometer aqueduct system.
The aqueduct consists of a cast iron trough, supported at a height of 38 metres above the river-iron arches, supported by 19 hollow stone columns.
The use of the construction of the aqueduct of cast iron and steel allowed to make light and strong arches, creating at the same time the effect of monumentality and elegance.
The canal had a significant impact on the economic welfare of the region during the first half of the nineteenth century, contributing to the rapid development of coal mining, Metalworking, the development of limestone quarries and lime production. Shale career in the mountains of Wales, and agriculture has also won at the expense of the channel.
Today the canal no longer transports coal and lime, and is a very popular tourist destination.
Since 1954, the channel is operated and maintained in a condition suitable for navigation, the British controlled waterways.
Swivel aqueduct at Barton (Barton Swing Aqueduct)
This rotary aqueduct is a moveable water bridge in Barton, United Kingdom, on the river Irwell. He “carries” the canal via the Bridgewater canal, the Manchester Ship.
Swivel mechanism allows large vessels to navigate the canal, the Manchester Ship, and the small narrow boat to cross it at the top. When a large ship must pass through the channel iron bridge, 100 metres in length and weighing 1450 tons is rotated 90 degrees.
Gateways on both ends of the trough bridge holding about 800 tons of water. Other gateways, on the banks of the canal, retain water adjacent to the bridge sites. The same swing bridge, but designed for traffic is here, just upstream.
This aqueduct is the first and only rotary aqueduct in the world. It is a real masterpiece of Victorian architecture. Opened in 1894, the bridge is still regularly used for its intended purpose.
Earlier on this water bridge was conventional stationary stone aqueduct, which did not allow to pass new vessels of large size. Therefore, the construction of the swing bridge has become a necessity.
Swivel aqueduct (left) in the closed position performs the intersection of the channels, and the Bridgewater and Manchester Ship. Road swing bridge on the right.