The Biscay Bridge, created in 1893, was the world's first ferry bridge, while, today, it is one of the eight that are still preserved. If you want to know everything related to these constructions, especially the Spanish one, then we offer you a series of information that will be of interest to you.
For starters, those who don't know what a ferry bridge, they should know that It is a funicular transport system that supports a car on which a shuttle boat is hung. It serves, then, so that vehicles and passengers can move from one shore to another. In addition, it is cheaper than a conventional bridge.
History of the world's first ferry bridgeFerry - Fernando Pascullo / commons.wikimedia.org
The first ferry bridge is designed by Spanish architect and engineer Alberto Palacio. This, together with Ferdinand Arnodin, in charge of its construction, are considered the inventors of this type of bridges. And it is that both are the architects of the creation of the Biscay Bridge.
This structure was built with the aim of joining the two banks of the estuary of Bilbao, in Biscay. As a result we have a bridge of sixty-one meters high and one hundred and sixty meters long, which has served as a model for other buildings in Europe, Africa and America.
However, the fashion of the ferry bridges did not last long. The last to be erected was the Sky Ride in Chicago, in 1933, on the occasion of the universal exhibition. And although it was the greatest ferry of all time, it was shortly in operation, so it did not take long to dismantle.
The Biscay Bridge was also in danger during the Civil War, since the Republican side's engineers were ordered to destroy it to stop the advance of Franco's troops. The crossbar ended up being knocked down, but it was soon rebuilt by the team of José Juan Aracil.
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The bridge todayBiscay Bridge - Óscar / commons.wikimedia.org
More recently, the Vizcaya bridge has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, because it is one of the most outstanding iron architecture works of the Industrial Revolution. Also because of the innovative use of twisted light steel cables.
On the other hand, the one considered the world's first ferry bridge It works all year round 24 hours a day. In addition to using it for what it serves, it is a good option to climb on it to watch the estuary show or the operating mechanism of the boat.
Other ferry bridges that still exist
As we mentioned above, in addition to the Vizcaya bridge, there are currently seven more ferry bridges. One of them is Nicolás Avellaneda, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca, Argentina. After falling into disuse in 1960, it was rehabilitated so that it would work again from 2017.Nicolás Avellaneda Bridge - Robert Cutts / Flickr.com
As a curiosity, iron structure It is about eighty meters long and forty-five meters high. It was built in a factory in England and later moved to Buenos Aires, where it was assembled and inaugurated on May 30, 1914. Today it is an emblem of the place.
There is also a ferry bridge in France, between Rochefort and Échillais. And, although it was about to be destroyed when it was considered a useless element, it ended up being declared a historical monument in 1976. Therefore, it was soon restored and reopened as a tourist attraction.
On the other hand, The country with the most ferry bridges is the United Kingdom, as it has three in the following cities: Newport, in southeast Wales; Middlesbrough, northeast of England; and Warrington.
It is followed by Germany with two. One between Osten and Hemmoor and another between Osterrönfeld and Rendsburg. The latter, which is called Rendsburger Hochbrücke, was built between 1911 and 1913 and designed by the engineer Friedrich Voss. It measures one hundred and forty meters long by almost seventy high and only carries four cars on each itinerary.
Cover photo: Ian Turk / Flickr.com