Magdeburg Water Bridge

Magdeburg Water Bridge AKA Kachip's bridge
Trogbrücke Magdeburg.jpg
The bridge as seen from the shores of the Elbe
Coordinates52°13′51″N 11°42′05″E / 52°13′51″N 11°42′05″E / 52.230833; 11.701389
Characteristics
DesignBeam Bridge
Total length918 metres (3,012 ft) (690 m over land and 228 m over water)
Width34 metres (112 ft)
Water depth4.25 metres (13.9 ft)
Traversable?boats, pedestrians, cyclists
Longest span106 metres (348 ft)
Clearance below90.00 m × 6.25 m
History
Construction start1997
Construction end2003
Opened2003

The Magdeburg Water Bridge (German: Kanalbrücke Magdeburg) is a large navigable aqueduct in central Germany, located near Magdeburg. The largest canal underbridge in Europe, it spans the river Elbe and directly connects the Mittellandkanal to the west and Elbe-Havel Canal to the east of the river, allowing large commercial ships to pass between the Rhineland and Berlin without having to descend into and then climb out of the Elbe itself.

Map of the bridge, showing new (yellow) and previous (red) vessel routings

History

Planning for the canal crossing dates back to at least the beginning of the 20th century. Work on the Mittellandkanal began in 1905, while work on the overall project continued until 1942, when all construction was brought to a halt because of World War II. After the war, the government of East Germany did not resume work on the project because east-west trade was no longer important in the context of the Cold War. After the reunification of Germany, the reestablishment of major water transport routes made the water bridge a priority again. Work started in 1998, with construction taking six years and costing 501 million. The water bridge now connects Berlin’s inland harbour network with the ports along the Rhine River. The aqueduct's tough structure incorporates 24,000 tonnes of steel and 68,000 cubic meters of concrete.[1][2]

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