Sunday, May 3, 2009

Seine River Bridges: Pont des Invalides

We design bridges in the U.S. to last 75 years. Occasionally we will design a unique or special bridge to last 100 years. However, when an old bridge is determined to be of historic importance, we are often asked to keep it in service, usually at more expense than a replacement structure would have cost.

The current Pont des Invalides was built in 1855 using the piers of a demolished suspension bridge that had stood at this site. A new, center pier was constructed and a four span stone masonry deck arch was built on the piers.  The bridge settled about 30 cm (about a foot) in 1878 and two of the arches were destroyed by ice moving downstream and were replaced in 1880. The bridge was widened in 1956 by carefully removing the facing stones and putting them back on the completed structure.

The bridge's name comes from a hospital for injured soldiers (hopital des invalides) that Louis XIV built at this site in 1670. Today it is a complex of monuments and museums related to France's military past. Hence, the bridge is decorated with sculptures of military victories.
Creative Commons License
Seine River Bridges: Pont des invalides by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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