|September 2016 (45.7865 Degrees, 4.8598 Degrees) Viaduc SNCF|
We'll begin our survey with a railroad bridge at the northern border of Lyon. The Viaduc SNCF crosses the Rhone a few meters downstream from the Pont Raymond Poincare, which is barely visible behind it. SNCF stands for Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais, or the French National Railway which manages French railroads including freight trains, passenger trains, and the TGV, France's High Speed Rail Network.
The Viaduc SNCF is a long bridge that includes five reinforced concrete spans across the river. It was built as a cast iron bridge in 1856 and damaged by the Germans as they retreated from France in 1944 (see photo below). It was rebuilt as a reinforced concrete bridge in 1946. The piers look similar on the old and new bridges, which makes me wonder if they built the new bridge on the old piers? However the wide caissons are not visible in the photo below, which suggests the rebuilt bridge has new piers. I wonder if the wide caissons, squat piers, and haunched girders impede the river's flow at flood stage? I noticed uprooted trees lying on the caissons of several bridges across the Rhone. Apparently the Rhone can be a ferocious river when the snowmelt begins in the Alps.
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