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The bridge builders of Linz

New bridges over the Danube will soon be erected in the Austrian city, continuing a centuries-old tradition of it acting as a gateway between regions

  • July 08, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: Stadt Linz (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 AT)

For centuries Linz has served as a gateway connecting the two banks of the Danube. That has been achieved through the construction of many bridges between the Austrian mainland and the opposite shore of the river. In modern-day, however, the expansion of this bridge network has not stopped as these large infrastructure projects are seen not only as a means of connection but also as the perfect way to alleviate traffic in Linz’s centre and to make the city cleaner and quieter.

A centuries-long tradition of bridge-building

The first bridge that was greenlit for construction in Linz was the one requested by Emperor Maximilian in the year 1497. It was the third Austrian crossing of the Danube after the construction of the bridges in Vienna (in 1439) and in Krems (in 1463). Linz’s bridge, despite being made out of wood, survived for an astonishingly long time – until 1868, when a ship crashed into it, destroying its pillars.

New bridges have been built and torn downs since then, with the latest demolition happening in 2016, following a local referendum. But that is not the end to the story of Linz’s bridge-building tradition. Two new massive projects are also currently underway with estimates putting their completion sometime in 2024.

The first project concerns the expansion and total renovation of an already existing bridge which will be fully completed in 2023. Once construction is finished it will tower at 31.5 meters in height, offering a spectacular view. This one crossing will also be usable as early as 2021 before it is entirely finished.

The 2nd project – the so-called West Ring Bridge will be completed by 2024. It will stand strong on top of the rocks of the northern and southern banks of the Danube river, without making use of any water pillars.

Through these two projects, local authorities in Linz not only continue a long and proud tradition of serving as a gateway between worlds but also contribute to the wellbeing and health of the city and its citizens.

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