December 31, 2008

EU Capital Cities

This year the Polish Post has prepared a fourth edition of the "EU Capital Cities" series issued since 2005. The stamps are accompanied by five first day envelopes FDC and one anniversary date stamp, used in Warsaw 1 Postal Office. By now we have seen representative buildings of Budapest, Berlin, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Ljubljana, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Riga, Rome, Stockholm, Tallinn, Valetta and Vilnius.

Prague - the Charles Bridge
Famous for the beautiful architecture Czech capital was established upon the joining of two cities of the early Middle Ages: Hradčany and Vyšehrad. The representative for ages seat of the Czech rulers was handed over in the 16th century to the house of Habsburg, and at the same time to be dominated by Vienna. Only the so called Czech National Revival in the 19th century restored the city's previous character. Prague was again the capital city in 1918 upon the creation of Czechoslovakia. In 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia, the city became the capital city of the Czech Republic.

The Charles Bridge (by 2nd half of the 19 century called the Stone Bridge or the Prague Bridge) connects two districts: Malá Strana and Staré Mesto. It is 515 meters long and approximately 9.5 meters wide. It was built in the 14th century (replaced the 12th century Judith Bridge destroyed by flood), by 1741 was the only bridge on the Vltava river. Its Gothic character has been emphasised by the towers protecting the bridge. The famous 30 statues of saints were added only in the times of baroque.

Stamp Issue: 2008-10-24
number 4246

December 29, 2008

Gustave Alexandre Eiffel

Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel
(1832-1923), French engineer and builder, most famous for the construction of the tower in Paris that bears his name. Born in Paris, his family included artisans and timber and coal merchants. Eiffel was educated at the Lycée Royal in Dijon and the College Sainte-Barbe in Paris, and he graduated from the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855, joining a company that produced steam engines. 

In 1858 the company was granted a contract to erect a railway bridge in Bordeaux. Eiffel oversaw the construction with such success that in 1866 he founded his own company and soon became known for his wrought-iron structures. Starting in 1872 he attracted foreign contracts, and in 1877 he erected over the Douro River in Porto (Oporto), Portugal, a steel arch bridge 160 m (525 ft) in height.

Eiffel's work combined expert craftsmanship and graceful design, qualities that are evident in the Garabit viaduct in France. Completed in 1884, it was for a time the highest bridge in the world, winning Eiffel's factory a worldwide reputation for excellence. Eiffel cast Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi's colossal statue Liberty Enlightening the World, which was dedicated in New York in 1886. Soon after, he began work on his greatest project, the building of the Eiffel Tower. It was completed in 1889 for the celebration of the centennial of the French Revolution (1789-1799). The imposing tower—constructed of 7,000 tons of iron in 18,000 parts held together by 2,500,000 rivets—rises to a height of 300m (984 ft), and continues to dominate the Paris skyline. In the early 1890s Eiffel gave up the daily management of his business and became absorbed in the new science of aerodynamics. 

Stamp Issue: 1982

December 19, 2008

Landmark Bridge of India

Mahatma Gandhi Setu
Located at Patna, Bihar, is popularly known simply as Ganga Bridge. It stands at the place where Mahatma Gandhi crossed the river long back to go to Champaran, where he laid foundations ofstruggle that was to dislodge British, and hence the name. Opened to traffic on 02.03.1982 by the then Prime Minister, late Smt. Indira Gandhi, this is the longest single river bridge in the world. The bridge consists of 45 intermediate spans of 121.065 meters each, and two end spans of 63.53 meters each, having a total length of 5,565 meters. The superstructure of the bridge is a pre-stressed cantilever construction. The completion of the Mahatma Gandhi Setu marks a milestone in the history ofthe economic development of Bihar.

Vidyasagar Setu
The modern cable bridge known as Vidyasagar Setu lies across the river Hoogly. Affording a panoramic view of the skyline of Kolkata, it itself contributes to the grandeur of the city’s new skyline. Better known locally as the second Hoogly Bridge, built to provide an additional connector between the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. Apart from Howrah Bridge, Vidyasagar Setu is 823 meters long, and 35 meters wide. Supported on four foundations, the height of the steel pylons over pillars is 120 meters. With a 4% longitudinal gradient, the bridge provides navigational clearance of 33.87 meter to 34.38 meter over the highest level to ensure safe passage underneath, of the international cargo ships, which cater to Kolkata Port. The bridge has also been connected with flyovers and ramps on either side to provide uninterrupted flow of traffic from both, the Kolkata and Howrah ends. This unique and longest cable stayed bridge, constructed at a cost of Rs. 380 crores, was thrown open to the nation by the hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 10th October 1992.

Howrah Bridge
The famous Howrah Bridge is one of the best known landmarks of Kolkata, a virtual ‘Gateway of Kolkata’, and an inseparable icon of the city, sharing a totemic relationship with its growth and evolution. The construction of a new ‘Suspension type balanced Cantilever Bridge’, without any intermediate pier, was conceived after the First World War, by a Committee chaired by the famous Bengali engineer and industrialist Sir R.N. Mukherjee after taking into account the hydraulic factors and the flow pattern of the river. A technological marvel, its construction was supervised by a newly formed specialized body viz., ‘The Howrah Bridge Commissioners’. Out of the 26,500 tonnes of steel used, around 3000 tonnes were imported and the rest was indigenously sourced through TISCO. The Bridge was opened to traffic in February, 1943, dismantling the earlier floating bridge. It was renamed as ‘Rabindra Setu’ on 14th June 1965, but continues to be referred to as Howrah Bridge in the popular lexicon. A suspension type balanced cantilever bridge, this is the fourth cantilever bridge in the world, with a central span of 1500 ft. between the centres of its main towers. Its anchor arms are 325 ft. long and the cantilever arms 468 ft. long at both ends, while the middle suspended span is 564 ft. The main towers soar 280 ft, high above the monoliths and are 76 ft. apart at the top. The bridge deck width is 71 ft., with two footpaths of 15 ft. on either side.

Pam ban Setu
Opened to traffic in 1914, the Pamban Bridge, also known as the Pamban Viaduct, forms part of the Rameswaram meter gauge section in Madurai Division of the Southern Railways. Constructed over 100 to 300 feet wide reef lying submerged between the mainland of India and the Island of Rameswaram, this bridge was built over the Palk Straits to reduce the gap in the rail systems between India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). The distance of 36 kms between Dhanushkodi, off Rameswaram Island, and Talaimannar, the railway terminus of Sri Lanka, was linked by ferry service, and direct rail cum ferry journey tickets were issued at both ends. ~ 2.06 kms long, the Pamban Bridge has 146 span of 40 feet clear, including one Scherzer lift span, which measure 213 feet, and remains a marvel of technology and a visual treat.

Stamp Issue: 2007-08-17

December 10, 2008

Bridges and Viaducts of Luxembourg

Centenary of the Adolphe Bridge
The Adolphe Bridge in Luxembourg, also called the New Bridge, opened to traffic on 24 July 1903. Built during the reign of Grand Duke Adolphe, whose name it bears, this year it celebrates its one hundred years of existence. When it was opened, this engineering project, built as an extension of Boulevard Royal to connect the western half of the upper city to the Bourbon Plateau and the central train station district, was the largest stone arch bridge ever constructed and was admired by engineers around the world. A heterogeneous combination of classical concepts and reinforced concrete, the bridge, 153 m long, features a large double arch with a span of 85 m overhanging the Pétrusse valley 42 m below. It has become a symbol of the capital and is also at the heart of the celebrations for Luxembourg National Day when it is the venue for a traditional fireworks show.

Stierchen Bridge
By following the Corniche path from the Bock rock down to the "Grund Gate", a narrow zig-zagging path leads you to the bottom of the valley and to a small footbridge, the "Stierchen". This small stone bridge in the lower town of Luxembourg called "Grund", is part of the Wenceslas wall (Wenzelsmauer), fortifications which have been added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO. The medieval Stierchen bridge dates back to the end of the 14th century whereas the wall of which it forms a part was reinforced in the 16th century to meet the needs of the artillery.

The Victor Bodson Bridge (Hesperange Viaduct)
The Victor Bodson Bridge, also known as the Hesperange Viaduct, is located on the southeast freeway bypass of Luxembourg City and spans the Alzette valley at a height of 40 m in order to connect the plateaus of Howald and Itzig. The work is a symmetric cable-stayed structure with a single central concrete pylon 61 m in height and a sheet of radial cables, each half-sheet composed of 16 cables with lengths varying from 42 to 140 m. Viewed from far away the structure resembles a majestic sailing ship. The most unusual characteristic of the bridge, however, is the curve (R = 1,750 m) of the path it follows, a very rare feature for a cable-stayed bridge.

Stamp Issue: 2003-04-10

November 29, 2008

Philippine Colonial Bridges II

Bridge building in the country is integral to the development of communities. It helps in the opening up of communities to various forms of land transport allowing thus the development of trade and relations between once distant and detached areas. The early history of bridge building was attributed to both the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors. During the early period of American rule, the Bureau of Public Works was created to initiate further the task of linking the Philippines together with spans that for some still serve the commuting public. The bridges highlight an architectural and engineering form that has served nobly the interest of the country.

Gasan Bridge, Gasan, Marinduque
Though no date was gathered pertaining to the building of the Gasan Bridge, it is known to be from the mid-to late American period. Built of concrete, the bridge spans the Matandang Gasan River. The bridge stands on plain concrete piers and is decked by concrete lattice work parapet walls. Recently, the bridge has been converted into a promenade with decorative lampposts installed and recent repainting.

Hinigaran Bridge, Hinigaran, Negros Occidental
Situated along kilometer 53 south of Bacolod in the town of Hinigaran is a 100.00 meters long Hinigaran Bridge. Spanning the river with the same name, Hinigaran Bridge was built in 1935 following a standard bridge design popularized during the time. Composed of 14 graceful piers supporting beams, the bridge, which is 6.00 meters wide, is designed with a protective parapet wall with balusters lining its side. This design which became standard for most bridges in the country still abounds throughout the archipelago. Like most American period bridges whose roadway is deemed narrow today, Hinigaran Bridge was decommissioned when the new alternative concrete bridge was constructed alongside it. Today, Hinigaran Bridge serves as a convenient platform and recreational space for "Talaba" breeders and local promenaders.

Wahig Bridge, Dagohoy, Bohol
Built in 1929, the Wahig Bridge in Dagohoy, Bohol links the inner towns of Dagohoy with Carmen, Bilar and Loboc to the south. Crossing the Wahig River, the bridge is of a single trussed span with a concrete abutment on both sides of the bridge's approach. Unlike other American era bridges which have been replaced in the past due to increasing traffic load, the Wahig bridge, being located in the interior road bisecting the island province experiences relatively light to moderate traffic load resulting in its still constant use and eventual survival.

Pan-ay Bridge, Pan-ay, Capiz
Spanning the Pan-ay River, Pan-ay Bridge is a single spanned segmented arched concrete bridge. Like most bridges built sometime in the 1930's, the Bureau of Public Works followed standard designs for most spans built around the country. Characteristic about these bridges is the use of closely spaced balusters to adorn and protect the edges of the bridge. Segmented arches were also popular in the design of the Bureau for it allowed a wider gap to be spanned compared to the rounded arch popularized by the Spanish builders which would require the building of added support piers. The Pan-ay Bridge is still much in use and connects the town proper of Pan-ay with Western towns of Capiz and Iloilo.

Quezon Bridge, Quiapo, Manila
Inaugurated in 1938, the Quezon Bridge, also referred to as the Quiapo Bridge, replaced a much earlier narrow suspension bridge, the Puente Colgante built in 1852. The bridge designed to mimic the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge is in the Art Deco style with elegant approach towers supporting the single metal trussed arched span. Unlike other bridges that span the Pasig River, Quezon Bridge has a relatively high clearance and a long northern approach which allows below its numerous supporting arches shops and stalls to be located. This has become famous for the cacophony of locally made products and handicrafts sold underneath the bridge as well as a convenient turn-around for vehicles plying the bridges access road, Quezon Boulevard. Quezon Bridge was damaged during the Second World War, and unlike other bridges that spanned the Pasig was reconstructed in 1946 following its original design.

Governor Reynold's Bridge, Guinobatan, Albay
Bridge was inaugurated in 1911 and is composed of two reinforced arched spans. Traversing the Banao River, it links the town of Guinobatan with that of Lig-ao and Camarines Sur further north. When built it cost the American colonial government P40,000 pesos. Governor Reynold's Bridge replaced an earlier span built during the Spanish colonial period in 1860 which itself was subsequently destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 1864. The bridge was designed with two reinforced concrete arch spans supporting concrete piers holding the road deck. This design was utilized by the American engineers for many similar spans found throughout the country. Governor Reynold's Bridge, which amongs the locals is more familiar as the Banao Bridge still facilitates all forms of road traffic almost a hundred years since it was inaugurated.

Mauca Railway Bridge, Ragay, Camarines Sur
Built in 1937 in time for the inauguration of the South line to Bicol in 1938, the Mauca Railway Bridge is unique not for its length but more for its uniqueness due to its construction, with box girders along its approaches and an inverted truss designed like an arch situated in the bottom of the deck crossing the river. The bridge which spans the Mauca River still carries rolling stock, from trains to the more frequent makeshift trolleys that serve most of the railway communities along the track.

Balucuan Bridge, Dao, Capiz
In the town of Dao spanning the Balucuan River in the Province of Capiz stands a single spanned bridge known as Balucuan Bridge. Though no year was gathered as to its building, its design and construction is inimical to other American period concrete arched spans such as the Governor Reynold's Bridge in Albay. The bridge is composed of only one concrete arch span that supports above its arch with small arches holding the road deck. The deck itself is only 4.40 meters wide while the bridge is roughly 20.00 meters long. Today built almost beside it, a new wider span carries the growing traffic along the main national road that links Capiz with Iloilo, Balucuan Bridge today has been sidelined and has become for the town of Dao a sort of linear garden and greeting station for those entering town.

Stamp Issue: 2008-05-16

November 27, 2008

Bridge of Taiwan (II)

Following the first set released in April of 2007, this Post is issuing the second set in its “Bridges of Taiwan” series, which features bridges of central Taiwan. Their designs follow:

1) Wurih Bridge, Taichung (NT$5.00):
Spanning the Han River, this beautiful cable-stayed bridge is the gateway to Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Wurih Station for Taichung City, Taichung County and the Nantou area. Opened to traffic in January of 2004, it has a total length of 179 meters and a width of over 20 meters. This stylish steel bridge has become a new landmark in Wurih township. 

2) Jilu Bridge, Nantou (NT$5.00):
Spanning the Jhuoshuei River, the Jilu Bridge connects Jiji and Lugu Townships. It was opened to traffic in 2004 and has a total length of 967 meters and a width of 24 meters. It was the first side-spar cable-stayed bridge entirely built of concrete in Taiwan. The under-the-bridge illumination creates spectacular nighttime scenery. The bridge supports both transportation and tourism.

3) Shueiyun Bridge, Shueili (NT$12.00):
Spanning the Shueili River, the bridge has a total length of 96 meters and a width of 3 meters. Completed in 2005, it was the first bridge in Nantou County to fully adopt solar lighting for nighttime illumination. Its colorful flashing lights are a traffic stopper. 

4) Sindong Bridge, Miaoli (NT$15.00):
Spanning the Houlong River, this bridge in Gongguan Township is the gateway to Miaoli City. Opened to traffic in 1997, this symmetrical twin-tower cable-stayed bridge has a total length of over 320 meters and a width of 21 meters.

Stamp Issue: 2008-05-12

Bridge of Taiwan (I)

Human civilizations have usually started around rivers, and bridges have continuously helped civilizations move to new realms. Today, bridges not only serve a transportation function but also spur economic and cultural development. There are different types of bridges for different geographic environments, and often bridges become fixtures in the local landscape and symbols of a locale. To introduce the beauty of Taiwan bridges, Taiwan Post is issuing a set of four stamps featuring bridges of northernTaiwan. The designs of the stamps follow:

1) The Kanjin Bridge, Taoyuan (NT$5.00):
Spanning the Dahan River, around a kilometer upstream of  the Wuling Bridge, this silver gray steel arch bridge has become a new landmark in Dasi, Taoyuan  County. The Kanjin Bridge was completed in August, 2002. It has a total length of over 800 meters and a width of over 20 meters. 

2) The Fusing Bridge, Luofu (NT$5.00):
There are two bridges that connect Luofu village with Siayunping. The lavender Fusing Bridge, completed in 1966, is an old suspension bridge with a total length of some 150 meters and a width of some 4 meters. The retired Fusing Bridge was then turned into a footbridge where pedestrians can take in a panoramic view of the beautiful
surroundings. It is now one of the great scenic overlooks of the North Cross-Island Highway.

3) The MacArthur Second Bridge, Taipei (NT$12.00):
Finished in 1995, this basket handle Nielsen Type steel arch bridge is the first of its kind in Taiwan, measuring 400 meters long and 18.7 meters wide. Its "basket handle" and cables (stretched at 60-degree angle) give it a three-dimensional structural power and beauty. 

4) The Dajhih Bridge, Taipei (NT$15.00):
The Dajhih Bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge with a single pylon in the shape of a fishing rod in the city. In January 2003, the main span was opened to traffic. The bridge has a total length of 820. At night, when its red cables and pylon are illuminated, it sets off the beautiful scenery of neighboring Keelung River Park.

Stap Issue: 2007-04-12

November 26, 2008

Bridge of New Zealand

Shotover bridge - 35c
The road bridge across the Shotover River in Central Otago was described at its opening in 1975 as "mathematical precision combined with beautiful form".  The two-lane carriageway is 320 metres long and is made up of 169 pre-cast, pre-tensioned concrete box girder sections.

Alexandra Bridge - 40c
Steel was the chosen material for the bridge built over the Clutha River at Alexandra in 1958 to replace a bridge built in 1882.  Spanning some 158 metres the new tied-steel arch bridge incorporated special design features.  It is anchored to one abutment by means of a hinge and there are bearings, or rollers on the other abutment and all the piers, that allow the bridge to freely expand and contract.

South Rangitikei Rail Bridge - 45c
The South Rangitikei rail bridge forms part of the main trunk railway line north of Mangaweka in the central North Island.  Because of the danger of flash floods and earthquakes the bridge is able to move and in the event of an earthquake the legs of the high slender piers are designed to alternatively lift off their foundations.

Twin Bridges - 70c
An unusual bridge located at the confluence of the Mangkahia and Awarua rivers in Whangarei county, Northland, is the subject of the fourth stamp.  Twin Bridges takes its name from two bridges built there in the 1920s.  These were replaced in 1970 by a single reinforced concrete structure but the name remains.  A feature of the new bridge is a 19 metre landing which branches off to give access to farm land which would otherwise be isolated by the convolutions of the two rivers.

Stamp Issue: 1985-06-12

November 24, 2008

Bridges and Engineering Structures

A bridge is a form of cultural expression, a form of sculpture with a utilitarian function; sculpture for its lines, utilitarian for its practical purpose - connect two shores or two disconnected points.
Arrabida Bridge Oporto
The Arrabida Bridge was one most innovative projects of the last century, not only in Portugal but throughout the world, however its history and building tell a tale of controversy and courage. During construction, its 270-metre span (which for same time held the world record for comparable reinforced concrete structures) and single arch attracted the attention of engineering experts from around the world, who flocked to Portugal from all corners of the earth to witness the collapse of this engineering feat designed by Edgar Cardoso. In the event, to the sheer astonishment of the era's best reputed civil engineers, the bridge did not collapse and still standing today. This is the story of the Arrabida Bridge, completed in 1963 at the peak of Edgar Cardoso's international prestige.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon
Inaugurated on 6th August 1966 and a landmark of Lisbon ever since, the 25 de Abril Bridge is a road and rail suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon to the city of Almada and a vital element in the country's transport system. Its original name, Salazar Bridge, was changed to 25 de Abril shortly after the revolution of 25th April 1974. At the time of its construction, the total cost of the bridge came to 11 million Euros. On the date of this inauguration, this impressive bridge was the fifth biggest suspension bridge in the world and the largest outside the USA. Forty years on, it is still the 66th largest in the world.

Santa Clara Bridge, Coimbra
Over the centuries, several bridge have been built at similar locations across the river Mondego in Coimbra. The first was built at the order of King Afonso Henriques in 1132; four centuries later, King Manuel ordered another, and it is this latter bridge that can be seen in engravings and photograph. Demolished in 1873, plans for the present day construction, a metal bridge with lower deck, began in 1946. The new Santa Clara Bridge over Coimbra's river Mondego, an undisputed emblem of the city Coimbra, was inaugurated on 30th October, 1954.

Amiza de Bridge, Minho/Galicia
The new bridge over the river Minho, connecting Vila Nova de Cerveira and Goian in the Galician municipality of Tomino, was inaugurated in June 2004. Named the 'Ponte da Amizade' or Bridge of Frendship, it stands as a symbol of relations between the Poruguese and Spanish. Built of pre-stressed reinforced concrete and 430 metres long, it was the fulfilment of a dream long cherished by the local populations, complementing the road link between Minho and Galicia.

Moisteiro Bridge over the River Douro, Oporto
Anyone traveling along the banks of the river Douro in the Albufeira do Carrapatelo region of cruising along the Douro on a tourist boat cannot fail to be struck by the rare beauty of the Mosteiro Bridge. The elegance and lightness of its remarkable concrete structure made almost diaphanous by a fine concrete truss structure are accentuated by the curved deck that extends over the river supported at either end by the pillars of the old bridge. Built by Empresa Industrial do Norte, it was dynamited by the monarchists in 1919, restored in 1927 and rehabilitated by Estradas de Portugal (Portuguese Road Administration) in 2008.

Bridge over the River Arade, Portimao
Inaugurated on 12th September, 1991, the bridge over the river Arade is remarkable feat of engineering. A cable-stayed bridge with one central span and two side spans, it extends 842 metres, supported only at its two ends and suspended entirely from its towers. It is built totally of prestressed reinforced concrete and stays of steel strand. It plays a pivotal role in the economic development of the Arade estuary zone, revitalizing a geographic area of huge strategic and economic interest and a zone of unique beauty.

Stamp Issue: 2008-10-16

Iberian Bridges

Joint issue Portugal with Spain.

Of the 1215 kilometres of frontier separating Portugal and Spain, almost 400 - around one third - are marked out by extensive stretches of the rivers Minho, Douro. Tagus and Guadiana, all of which originate in Spain. Since immemorial time, these rivers have been the setting for both conflict and peace between the peoples on the two sides. Occupying a well-defined geographic macro-area - the Iberian Peninsula - the Portuguese and Spanish have a common history dating back many thousands of years. In the past, they lived united under one power for over one thousand years: first the Roman Empire (3rd century BC to 5th century AD), followed by the Suevi and Visigoths (6th and 7th centuries) and finally the Arab Empire (8th to 11th centuries).

The Alcantara Bridge (from the Arab Al-qantara, meaning "bridge"), designed by Gaius Julius Lacer, was built during the romanisation of Iberia in around 106 AD. Today, the history of this Iberian monument standing 61 metres high, 194 long and 8 wide, where the Alagon and Tagus rivers meet and as the latter enters its international section, is an eloquent testimony to centuries of Portuguese-Spanish relations.

Some nineteen hundred years later, the International Bridge over the river Guadiana connecting Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Portugal and Ayamonte in Spain was built. Inaugurated in 1991, this pre-stressed concrete cable-stayed bridge, with a 324 metres span, is a symbol of modern-day relations between the two countries, which since 1986 have been developing under the auspices of a larger and more powerful institution - the European Union.

Stamp Issue: 2006-09-14

Landmark Bridge

The featured bridges in this commemorative stamp issue span Australia’s history and show a diversity of construction materials and styles ranging from the stone bridge of convict days to the engineering and architectural wonders of current times. The bridges are ‘landmarks’ because of their physical position and status, or their historic or engineering qualities.

Ross Bridge, TasmaniaSpanning the Macquarie River, the elegant Ross Bridge was completed in 1836 and is regarded as the finest masonry bridge of its period. It is renowned for its decorative carved stonework depicting Celtic symbols and images of contemporary figures. Government engineer John Lee Archer was commissioned to build the bridge, and although Archer designed it, credit for its construction belongs to two convict stonemasons, James Colbeck and Daniel Herbert, who were emancipated on completion of the bridge. The sandstone bridge has three equal arches and is flanked at each corner by curved flights of stone steps sweeping down to the river banks. However the bridge’s real distinction comes from the 186 carvings on the arches. Some of the carvings are symbolic or iconographic. Others are representational, depicting people, dogs and other animals, birds, sheaves of wheat and bales of wool, and so on.

Lockyer Creek Bridge, QueenslandLocated between Helidon and Murphy’s Creek the Lockyer Creek Bridge was built in 1911, and is one of two similar cast-in-situ reinforced concrete arch railway bridges in this locality. The bridge has three spans, each supported on two arches. This elegant bridge was a major engineering achievement at the time, and is still one of the largest spans of its type in Australia.
Lockyer Creek Bridge, which still carries main line rail traffic, has been placed on the Queensland Heritage Register. In Australia concrete arch railway bridges are unique to Queensland and South Australia.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, New South WalesAustralia’s most famous bridge, and one of the largest single-arch steel bridges in the world, links Sydney’s central city with North Sydney. It carries eight lanes of road traffic and two railway tracks, a footway and a cycle path. Since 1998 the bridge has also become an adventure destination for thousands of tourists who undertake the acclaimed BridgeClimb. The arch, which was built out progressively from each shore, was joined successfully on the night of 19 August 1930. Over the next 18 months the steel decking was hung from the arch and the roadway completed. The four pylons at each end of the bridge are purely decorative. They were made of concrete and faced with granite, transported to the site by three purpose-built ships.

Birkenhead Bridge, South AustraliaBuilt in 1940 Birkenhead Bridge services both road and shipping traffic for South Australia’s major port, Port Adelaide. The twin bascule span bridge crosses the upper reaches of the Port River and links the LeFevre Peninsula with the Adelaide metropolitan area. ‘Bascule’ refers to the ‘see-saw’ action of the lifting mechanism. Each leaf or slab of the bridge is counterbalanced with weights inside the bases of the structure, allowing them to tilt upwards to allow ships through without using too much power. The bridge opens for vessels which cannot otherwise pass under it.

Bolte Bridge, VictoriaWith its four spans the six-lane Bolte Bridge is one of the largest balanced cantilever cast-
in-situ box girder bridges in Australia. Bolte Bridge crosses the Yarra River west of the city of Melbourne. The bridge is a vital part of City Link, a city bypass designed to minimise traffic crossing the city centre and relieve traffic congestion on arterial and local roads. Five land-based piers support the bridge. The central pier is set on a man-made island in the middle of the river.
Although they serve no structural purpose the elegant twin towers at the centre of the bridge are its distinguishing feature. Made of reinforced concrete, the slender towers create a dramatic visual focal point and a powerful new landmark for Melbourne.

Stamp Issue: 2004-03-02

November 20, 2008

Bridges of Malaysia

This series showcase these innovative bridges up to the time of Malaysia's Independence in 1957. This collection of historical structures that have played a major role in the growth of industries like tin mining, rubber and the overall economy of the nation are given due recognition.

Merdeka Bridge, Kedah
The Merdeka Bridge, built in 1955, was officially launched in 1957, the year Malaya achieved independence. Spanning the Sungei Muda, the longest river in Kedah, the bridge serves a major link for transportation of goods and people. The river also marks the border between Penang and Kedah. Sungei Muda also provides water for consumption and irrigation of rice fields to Penang's province of Seberang Perai. This concrete truss girder bridge was designed and built by the Malaysian Public Works Department.

Victoria Bridge in Karai
The oldest railway bridge in Malaya is the Victoria Bridge in Karai, Perak. Built in 1897 by the Perak State Railway, it was the most advanced bridge in terms of its engineering in the Far East at that time. This bridge provided a communication link for the growth of the tin mining industry and the development of the mining towns in the Malayan Peninsular. With the opening of this bridge, the whole of the west coast from Perai to Johor Bahru was linked by rail.

Kota Bridge, Klang
The city of Klang is divided by the Klang River and was linked by the Brickfield Bridge built in 1907. It was destroyed in 1941 during World War II, resulting in great difficulty in transportation and communication, especially for goods transported from Klang Port to other cities. In 1958 a double decker bridge was constructed, the first such bridge in Malaya, with a pedestrian walkway at the lower half. This double decker truss girder bridge was named the Kota Bridge (Jambatan Kota).

Sungai Segamat Bridge
This bridge was build in 1933, to provide means of transportation to the Segamat district as an initiative by the government to develop the district for its agricultural activities and to boost its economy. The Sungai Segamat Bridge is a Steel Pratt Girder Bridge type with the length of 99.43 metres. It provides railway crossing over the Segamat River.

Stamp Issue: 2008-02-28

Korean Bridge Series (4th)

In this fourth segment of the Korean Bridge series, such representative suspension and truss bridges of Korea as Gwangan Bridge, Seongsu Bridge, Seongsan Bridge, and Yeongjong Bridge are featured. A suspension bridge has two main towers at each end, between which cables hang. A truss bridge is shored up by a web of triangles composed of timbers or steel rods.

(1) Gwangan Bridge
Gwangan Bridge lies across the sea between Namcheon-dong, Suyeong-gu and U-dong, Haewundae-gu of Busan city. It was completed in 2002 as a double-deck bridge combining the features of a suspension bridge as well as a truss bridge. Of its total length of 7,420m, the suspension-bridge section extends 900m. This is the longest among all suspension bridges in Korea, thus launching a new era in Korea's bridge construction methods. Boasting beautiful illumination comprising about 100,000 different colors, the Bridge provides a splendid sight. The bridge is 18~25m wide.

(2) Seongsu Bridge
Linking Seongsu-dong and Apgujeong-dong of Seoul, Seongsu Bridge is 1,160m long. To relieve the traffic congestion of Seoul, the Bridge was completed in 1979 as a truss-bridge, becoming the 11th bridge built over Han River. Since its disastrous collapse in 1994, two rounds of restoration work were conducted. In 1997, the Bridge was reopened with 4 lanes that only directly linked North to South, with no ramps to enter from adjoining roads. In 2004, the Bridge width was expanded from 19.4m to 35m, becoming an 8-lane bridge.

(3) Seongsan Bridge
Boasting excellent representative beauty through the representation of harmony between half-moon-shaped Oriental curvature and lineal beauty, Seongsan Bridge was completed in 1980 as the 12th bridge over Han River. Linking Mangwon-dong and Yanghwa-dong of Seoul, the Bridge connects to Seobu Trunk Road and Gyeongin Highway. As a result, much traffic crosses over the Bridge. As a truss bridge, the Bridge is 1,415m long and 27m wide and has 6 lanes.

(4) Yeongjong Bridge
Shaped after traditional eaves of time-honored Korean houses, Yeongjong Bridge links Gyeongseo-dong (Jang Island) and Unbuk-dong (Yeongjong Island) of Incheon City. The Bridge was completed in 2000 after 60 months of construction that started in 1995. As the exclusive link to Incheon International Airport, the Bridge has two decks which are used for both general traffic and railroad conveyance. The Bridge is 36.1m wide and 4,420m long, 550m of which comprise the suspension bridge section and 2,250m for the truss bridge section.

Stamp Issue: 2007-09-28

Korean Bridge Series (3rd)

In this third series of Korean bridges, such representative cable-stayed bridges of Korea as the Olympic Bridge, Seohae Bridge, Jindo Bridge, Changseon-Samcheonpo Bridge are introduced. Utilized when the distance between bridge columns is lengthy, cable-stayed bridges present a beautiful appearance shored up by cables hanging from the main tower.

(1) Olympic Bridge
In commemoration of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Game, the Olympic Bridge was completed in 1990, linking Guui-dong, Gwangjin-gu and Pungnap-dong Songpa-gu. At the center of the Bridge stands its 88m-high main tower that symbolizes the 1988 Seoul Olympic Game. At each side of the main tower are 12 hanging cables, with the number of cables totaling 24, meant to symbolize the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul. The Bridge is 30m wide and 1.47km long, of which the cable-stayed section of the bridge extends 300m.

(2) Seohae Bridge
Its supports shaped like the Seohae Bridge links Pyeongtaek city, Gyeonggi Province and Dangjin county, South Chungcheong Province. Opened in 2000, this Bridge is emerging as the gateway to the West Sea commerce that will lead the era of Northeast Asian trade. As the largest cable-stayed bridge in Korea, its main towers are 182m high and the distance between each is 470m, allowing a 50,000-ton vessel to pass between them under the Bridge. The Bridge is 31.41m wide and 7.31km long, of which the cable-stayed section of the bridge is 990m.

(3) Jindo Bridge
Laid across the Wooldolmok Straits (also called Myeongryang Straits), which is famous for Admiral Yi Sunshin¡'s sweeping victory over the Japanese forces, the Jindo Bridge links Jindo county and Haenam county in South Jeolla Province. This Bridge was constructed using as its inspiration the Joseon naval forces and the womenfolks performing during the Japanese invasion of Korea. Opened in 1984 as the nation's first cable-stayed bridge, this Bridge has now become a twin bridge, as the second Jindo Bridge was added in 2005. The two Jindo Bridges are both 484m long, with their width being 11.7m and 12.5m, respectively.

(4) Changseon-Samcheonpo Bridge
Opened in 2003, the Changseon-Samcheonpo Bridge links Namhae county and Sacheon city in South Gyeongsang Province. Comprised of four sub-bridges (the Samcheonpo Bridge, Choyang Bridge, Neukdo Bridge and Changseon Bridge) and harmonized with the superb scenic beauty of Hallyeohaesang National Maritime Park, the Bridge presents a magnificent spectacle. Of the four sub-bridges, only the Samcheonpo Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge. Changseon-Samcheonpo Bridge is 3.4km long (Samcheonpo Bridge section being 436m) and 14.5m wide.

Stamp Issue: 2006-09-26

Korean Bridge Series (2nd)

The second part of the Korean Bridge series presents postage stamps with arch bridges, including Hangang Bridge, Expogyo (Bridge), Tongyeong Bridge, and Banghwa Bridge.
Built from as early as 4000B.C., arch bridges have architecturally ideal structures, as arches dissipate loads effectively. Not only that, arch bridges have long been popular for their beauty. Historic literature shows that Koreans also built arch bridges from the 8th century including Cheongungyo (Bridge) and Baegungyo (Bridge) at Bulguksa temple.

(1) Hangang Bridge
Hangang Bridge, also known as a "pedestrian bridge" as it was mostly used by people and carriages, was built in 1917 as a gateway from the center of Seoul to Noryangjin in the southern part of the city. As traffic increased, the bridge was reconstructed as an arch bridge in 1937. In 1982, an identical bridge was built next to it, constituting twin bridges. Length: 841m Width: 20m

(2) Expogyo (Bridge)
Expogyo (Bridge) was built in 1993 over Gapcheon stream stretching from Daejeon city center to Yuseong city in time for the successful hosting of the 1993 Daejeon International Expo. A red and a blue arch cross above the bridge, symbolizing the Great Absolute of Yin and Yang. Also, 100 cables were installed in the shape of a folding fan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Korea's first participation in an International Exposition. Length: 330m Width: 18m

(3) Tongyeong Bridge
Tongyeong Bridge, which links Dang-dong and Misu-dong over Chungmu canal, was opened to public in 1998. Over the span of its 149-meter long arch, 196 lights were installed, which reflect a rugby ball shape of lights over the canal at night, in a feast of lights along with green lighting. Length: 591m Width: 20.7 m.

(4) Banghwa Bridge
Banghwa Bridge, completed in 2000, was designed to be reminiscent of the landing and taking off of planes. This 27th bridge over the Han River links Banghwa-dong in Gangseo-gu, Seoul and Goyang City in Gyeonggi-do. The total length of the bridge is 2, 559 meters, which is the longest of the bridges over the Han River. With a width of 31.11m and 6 lanes in both directions, the bridge greatly improves the flow of traffic to and from the airport.

Stamp Issue: 2005-09-23

Korean Bridge Series (1st)

The Korea Post will issue the "Korean Bridge Series" during the next five years to introduce the beauty of Korean bridges. In the first stamps of the series, old bridges that give a hint of the wisdom and artistic sense of Korea's ancestors are introduced.

(1) Jincheon Nongdari Bridge
(Tangible Cultural Asset No. 28 of Chungcheongbuk-do Province) Located at Segeumcheon Stream in Jincheon, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, the bridge is quite unique as it is constructed of small pebbles assembled as if they were the scales of a fish. Presumed to have been built in the late Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), the original length of the bridge is estimated to have been more than 100 meters. Now, however, the bridge is 93 meters long and only 25 piles among the original 28 remain. With a width of more than 1 meter, the bridge remains intact until this day, having withstood the harsh summer monsoon seasons even though no lime or other adhesive building material was used in construction, indicating how advanced scientific methods of construction were at the time.

(2) Seungseongyo Bridge
(Treasury No. 400) Situated at Seonamsa Buddhist Temple in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do Province, the Seungseongyo Bridge is a granite structure built in the shape of an arch. Constructed during the Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910), the foundation of the bridge is made of natural rocks, and the construction is sophisticated enough to withstand powerful floods. When constructing the bridge, long carved rocks were connected with each other to create a rainbow-shape arch, which forms a complete half circle. And at the center of the bridge, a rock is carved in the shape of a dragon's head that protrudes to the below, creating an ornamental effect and adding beauty to the bridge.

(3) Geumcheongyo Bridge
Located at Changdeokgung Royal Palace, which is registered as UNESCO's World Cultural Asset, Geumcheongyo Bridge was constructed in 1411 (11th year of King Taejong's reign during the Joseon Dynasty) and is the oldest stone bridge among those remaining in Seoul. Standing 12.9 meters long and 12.5 meters wide, two arches are built from the foundation rocks in the stream bed. A rock carved in the shape of a mythical unicorn lion is located on the south side of the foundation rock, and that of a turtle is installed on the north side. Behind the carved rocks where the arches meet, is a carving of the face of a ghost, which is meant to chase away demons.

(4) Jeongotgyo Bridge
(Historical Asset No. 160) Located at Seongdong-gu, Seoul is the Jeongotgyo Bridge (also known as the Salgojidari Bridge) which was a major transportation route linking Hanyang (the capital city of the Joseon Dynasty) and the southeastern region. The bridge, the biggest of its kind built during the early Joseon Dynasty, is made of 64 rock pillars. To reduce the resistance of the water, the rock pillars were cut into diamond shapes. Unfortunately, parts of the bridge were damaged due to torrential rains during the 1920s. The bridge was restored in the 1970s; however, its appearance does differ from that of the original.

Stamp Issue: 2004-09-24

November 13, 2008

Bridges of Rhodesia

3d. This stamp shows a Low-level Bridge or causeway. The majority of these bridges were built between 1926 and 1933 in an endeavour to improve Rhodesia's road communications at a low cost. Grants from the Beit Trust. Although under water at time during a particularly heavy rainy season the bridge provided and still do in some places, a sure and safe crossing point for most of the year.

9d. The subject of this stamp is the bridge over the Mpudzi river 26 miles from Umtali on the Umtali-Birchenough road. The single 100-foot span which rises 40 feet from the river is an open spandrel twin-rib arch with a trestle approach. The bridge has a double carriageway and an overall length of 220 feet. It was designed and built by the Southern Rhodesia Government and was comleted in September, 1961.

1/6d. The bridge depicted on this stamp crosses the Umniati river 116 miles from Salisbury on the main trunk road to Bulawayo and is typical of those found on Rhodesian highways today. This high-lever all-weather has an overall length of 500 ft. and consists of five filled spandrel arches with spans of 100 ft. on mass concrete abutments and piers. This was also designed and built by the Southern Rhodesia Government. It was completed in September, 1956.

2/6. This stamp depicts one of the most well know of Rhodesian Bridge - The Birchenough Bridge which crosses the Sabi river 71 miles from Umtali on the road to Fort Victoria. It was a gift to the people of Southern Rhodesia from Beit Trust and was named after the Charmain of the Beit Railway Trust, Sir Harry Birchenough. The single arch of the bridge rises 280 ft. above the river and has a span of 1,080 ft. The bridge which weighs 1,500 tons, was designed by Sir Ralph Freeman on the lines of his bridge over Sidney Harbour and was built by Messrs Dorman Long Limited of Great Britain. The bridge was opened by Sir Herbert Stanley, Governor of Southern Rhodesia in 1935.

Stamp Issue: 1969-09-18

November 12, 2008

Charles Bridge - 650 years

Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge in Prague. It belongs to the most beautiful bridges in the world. Originally it was called the Stone Bridge, later Prague Bridge. In 1870 it was renamed Charles Bridge. It is located in the place of the original Romanesque Juditin Bridge, destroyed by the 1342 floods. The base stone of the new bridge was laid by the Emperor Charles IV on 9.7.1357 at 5:31 a.m., which was the best time according to astrologers. The construction was committed to Petr Parléř and his works. The bridge, almost 520 m long, up to 10 m wide and based on 16 arches, was finished in 1402. At that time it belonged to the largest ones in Europe. It is made of sandstone blocks and protected by towers erected on both its ends. The Old Town Bridge Tower is considered as one of the most beautiful gothic buildings. The bridge is the gallery of 30 mostly baroque sculptures made, inter alia, by M. B. Braun and F. M. Brokoff. The sandstone original sculptures have gradually been replaced with replicas. Until the 20th century Charles Bridge was used as a major way of communication. From 1965 it has been used by pedestrians only and is one of the most attractive Prague sights.The miniature sheet and the postage stamp commemorate the 650th anniversary of the beginning of construction of this gothic jewel.

Stamps Issue: 2007-06-20

November 11, 2008

Bridges in Poland

First Day Cover The Polish Post presents a series of 4 stamps with famous Polish bridges constructed in the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

Bridge in Maurzyce
The first welded bridge in the world was designed by engineer Stefan Bryła in 1928. It was built on the Słudwia river (left Bzura's tributary). Welding significantly decreased the bridge's weight; earlier steel elements used to be joined by rivets or bolts. The bridge's weight is 55 tons.
Ernest Malinowski bridge in Toruń
An iron truss bridge for railway built between 1870-1873 to connect railway lines and serve as fortifications in a lower part of the Vistula river. It covers the so - called Stara Wisła and Kępa Bazarowa. Its 20 meter high towers were decorated with figures that were removed in 1920 as they reminded of the town's Prussian history. The towers themselves were disassembled in the 50's of the 20th century. By 1934 it was the only bridge in Toruń for trains, cars and pedestrians. The bridge was destroyed two times in the II World War - by the Polish troops (in September 1939) and then by the German troops (in January 1945). After the war, the bridge was rebuilt. In 1999 it was named by Ernest Malinowski - famous engineer who constructed a railway line in the Andes.

Siekierkowski Bridge in Warsaw
Built between 2000-2002, however planned already during the interwar period. It is one of the elements of the 8-km long Trasa Siekierkowska yet to be finished. This seventh bridge on the Vistula river is a cable-stayed bridge supported by two pylons, with no pillars in the river current. Its characteristic orange cables are to warn and protect birds against any crashing.
Poniatowski Bridge in Warsaw
Built between 1904-1914 as a Warsaw's third bridge on the Vistula river, designed by engineers M. Marszewski and W. Paszkowski and supervised by S. Szyller - author of the Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska) buildings. Its characteristic features are neo-Polish renaissance towers and pavilion on the viaduct over Powiśle. Poniatowski bridge was seriously damaged in 1915 by the retreating Russian troops and rebuilt in 1921-1926. It was on this bridge when in 1926, during the May Coup d'Etat, Józef Piłsudski met Stanisław Wojciechowski. The bridge was for the second time destroyed by the German troops during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Poniatowski bridge was rebuilt after the war (in 1946), however in a poorer shape, without decorative balustrades and some benches.

Stamp Issue: 2008-08-29
number 4223-4226

November 10, 2008

EU Capital Cities

The series "Capital Cities of EU States" continues since 2005 on. As yet the following cities have been presented on its stamps: Budapest, Berlin, Dublin, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Tallinn, Valletta and Vilnius.

London - Tower Bridge
History of London stems from the epoch of Roman Empire. Since the 11th century it is the capital city of England, and also the biggest city and harbour in the country. Great Britain belongs to the European Community since 1973, and therefore it is the EU Member State since its origins.Tower Bridge, one of the best recognizable symbols of London, is built of steel and its style is neo-Gothic. Its lower part is a drawbridge, allowing passage of the really big ships, while in its upper part the foot bridge is situated. Tower Bridge was built in the end of the 19th century as the second London bridge on River Thames. In the Victorian age it has been an example of the modern industrial construction.

Ljubljana - the Dragon's Bridge
History of Slovenia is much complicated, as the Balkan region was troubled with innumerable wars for ages. The striving of Slovenians to independence has revived during the Napoleon's epoch, and could manifest again only after the fall of the Josip Broz Tito's communist regime. Slovenia has separated from Yougoslavia in 1991, in 1992 it became the member of UN, and in 2004 it has joined the EU.The capital's name Lublana means "beloved". It is situated on the river Ljubljanica, over which there are a few beautiful bridges. One of them, the famous "Dragon's Bridge" (Zmajski Most), can be seen on the stamp. It was built about 1900 according to the design of Jurij Zaninović in Secession style, basically of the reinforced concrete.

Stamp Issue: 2007-10-24
number 4184, 4188

November 9, 2008

Poles in the world

The Polish Post has just introduced two stamps devoted to Poles who lived and worked abroad, and did extraordinary things. They left a permanent image, making the name of Poland famous.

Ernest Malinowski, whose 100th anniversary of death will be celebrated on March 3rd this year, is the constructor of the famous Central Trans-Andean Railway in Peru. It is called a marvel of the engineering art of the 19th century. It is 218 km long (from Callao to Oroya) and most of it is located over 2000m over the sea level. It riches its highest peak in Ticlio: 4818m over the sea level, and this is why it is a railway located at the highest point in the world. A special sign placed there is presented on the FDC envelope accompanying the stamp. The stamp itself represents a portrait of Ernest Malinowski and a bridge over Verrugas canyon, belonging to the biggest constructions of this type in the world - it is 175m long and its height is 77 m.

Rudolf Modrzejewski, known in the United States as Ralph Modjeski, son of the famous actress, Helena, also became famous as a constructor of bridges. His most famous constructions include the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Delaware river in Philadelphia, which is presented in the second stamp. It was erected in 1926 and it had a record-breaking suspended span and elastic steel pylons 110m high. His work during the construction of the Trans-Bay bridge in San Francisco and in Quebec was also evaluated very positively.

Stamp Issue: 1999-02-12
number 3598, 3599