October 20, 2010

Bridge of Taiwan (IV)

To publicize the beauty of Taiwan’s bridges, Chunghwa Post has previously issued three sets of stamps in its “Bridges of Taiwan” series, featuring the bridges of northern, central, and southern Taiwan respectively. Now Chunghwa Post is following up with a fourth set of four stamps on bridges of eastern Taiwan.

Their designs follow:
Lizejian Bridge, Yilan (NT$5): Spanning the Dongshan River, Lizejian Bridge was originally a reinforced concrete bridge named Jiejing (which means “Shortcut”) Bridge. To accommodate water sport competitions at the Dongshan River Water Park, the bridge was rebuilt as a single-arch bridge without any piers and renamed Lizejian Bridge. Opened to traffic in June of 1992, the bridge has a total length of 148 meters, a width of 22 meters, and a top-of-the-arch height of 26 meters. Like a rainbow arching over green water, the bridge has become a Dongshan River landmark.

Taroko Bridge, Hualien (NT$5): The Taroko Bridge has five light-blue steel-arch spans over the Liwu River. The main spans are located in Xiulin Township, Hualien County. Opened to traffic in February of 2002, the bridge is 1,248 meters in length (including 512 meters of steel spans and 736 meters of pre-stressed concrete viaducts) and 20.8 to 29.6 meters in width. The height of its tallest arch is 25 meters. There are four spaces for lifescape sculptures where the main spans meet the viaduct sections of the bridge. Imbued with local character, the beautiful bridge has become one of Hualien’s most recognizable landmarks.

Hongye Bridge, Taitung (NT$12): Spanning the Luye River, Hongye Bridge is located in Hongye Village at 400 meters above sea level. It provides the principal access from the village to Luye Township and Taoyuan Village. Opened to traffic in March of 2000, the bridge has a total length of 133 meters, a width of 10 meters, and a height of 10 meters. The dark-red steel-arch bridge is beautifully set off against the surrounding mountain greenery and murmuring river.

Pudu Bridge
, Hualien (NT$15): Spanning the Liwu River, Pudu Bridge, located in the Tianxiang recreation area of the Taroko National Park, is the only footbridge from the Central Cross-Island Highway to the Xiangde Temple. Originally a suspension bridge, it was later rebuilt as a cable-stayed steel one. Completed in October of 2003, the bridge has a total length of 88 meters, a width of 3 meters, and a height of 15 meters. Surrounded by strikingly beautiful green mountains and spanning a spectacular deep gorge, the beauty of Pudu Bridge is heaven sent.

Stamp Issue: 2010-10-20

Technical Monuments - Historic bridge in Písek

The Stone Bridge in Písek (also known as the Stag Bridge) is the oldest still standing stone bridge in Bohemia. The bridge, spanning the Otava river, was the second stone bridge in Bohemia (after the already not existing Judith bridge in Prague). The exact date of its building is unknown, but the style is gothic. It was first mentioned in writing in 1348 when Charles IV ordered the town councillors to use fines collected in the town for maintenance of the bridge. A couple of gates with towers protected the bridge as well as the present historic town centre on either side. The left-hand tower was destroyed by the flood of 1768, the other one succumbed to wear and tear in 1825. The bridge is adorned by copies of the original, mostly 18th century baroque sculptures and the Cavalry. The 6.5m wide structure, slightly bulging up the river, consists of six arches spanning 111 metres, built on pillars with an upward save edge. The normal height above the water level is 5.5m. As one of the few medieval bridges, still standing and used in Central Europe, the stone bridge is a unique rarity.

Stamp Issue: 2010-10-20

Technical Monuments - Cable-stayed bridge in Ústí nad Labem

Cable-stayed bridge - Mariánský Bridge in Ústí nad Labem, designed by the renowned architecture studio Roman Koucký, is one of the most distinctive and disputed projects built in the post-November 1989 Czech Republic. Following years of lengthy discussions about location of the bridge, the city councillors decided to place it under the Mariánská Rock, a site best suited for the bridge's main role, i.e. combining the city's three quarters - the city centre, Krásné Březno on the left bank and Střekov on the right bank of the Labe river. The 70m high bridge was built in 1993 to 1998 and became the city's new dominant. The height is not the only feature attracting the attention of people: the impossible-to-overlook system of steel cables suspending the 170m long bridge is similarly provoking. The architect designed the number of cables, the height and shape of the pylon not only with respect to static but also to his artistic visions. For instance, the height of the pylon was to counterbalance the Mariánská Rock on the other side of the river. It also matches the height of the tower of the gothic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary nearby.

According to the Structural Engineering International (SEI), quarterly Journal of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), it is one of the ten most beautiful 1990s world buildings. It has also become the most expensive local project in the area of transport infrastructure since 1948, financed by a city. The city had to postpone the project of reconstruction of the Mírové Square and other projects. Last year the bridge changed its owners: it has become the property of the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic since June 26th, 2008.

Stamp Issue: 2010-10-20