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

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