Category Archives: Bridges

Pont du Gard — a World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site in southern France, this aqueduct bridge was built during the Roman occupation around the beginning of the Christian Era.

Pont du Gard the bridge aqueduct built by the Romans around the beginning of the Christian Era over the River Gardon from a stream to the Roman settlement T Nimes.

Pont du Gard the bridge aqueduct built by the Romans around the beginning of the Christian Era over the River Gardon from a stream to the Roman settlement T Nimes.

Because of the passage of time, only partial lengths of Roman aqueducts remain in various states of repair throughout Great Britain and Europe, wherever the Roman Army occupied the land. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in France.  Roman engineers, contractors, and workers built the aqueduct bridge on three tiers of water-tight stonework laid without mortar or bond of any kind.  The first level rests on six arches, the second, on eleven arches, and the third or top level carrying the water on thirty-five arches. In total, the bridge rises 160 feet from the river bed.  The aqueduct was built to carry water from a stream over the River Gardon to the Roman settlement at Nimes in the south of France twenty-five miles away.

The workmanship was so exacting that in many cases cement or other bonding products were not necessary to create precise sealants in the granite stonework. No mortar cement was used in constructing water-tight lengths of aqueduct.  There is another example of exacting Roman engineering and construction in Spain.   The Aqueduct of Segovia was also built around the beginning of the Christian Era with such precision the twenty-mile length carried water into and around Segovia until it fell into disuse in the Nineteenth century. It, too, was built without bonding or a sealant of any kind.  The Aqueduct at the Gardon River to Nimes in France and the Aqueduct to Segovia in Spain are the only two Roman bridge aqueducts known to survive from the Roman period.

Palm Valley Bridge crossing Florida’s Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

Palm Valley Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, near Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Palm Valley Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, near Ponte Vedra, Fla.

Completed in 2002, the new Palm Valley Bridge, near Ponte Vedra Beach, is the only bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida not owned or controlled by the State. This fixed span bridge is owned by the Federal Government and maintained and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its vertical clearance is 65 feet.

All other bridges in Florida are state-controlled but generally built by matching funds provided by both the State of Florida and the Federal Government. Except for Palm Valley, the State of Florida provides for the funding of all bridge tenders. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security establishes the schedules for all bridge openings through the agency of the Coast Guard.

Other rules regarding use of the waterway by vessels such as vessel speeds and anchoring (or mooring) in open water may be imposed by the state or local government or both to the extent the Federal Government decides to take no action.

Drawbridge in Miami (Fla.) Damages Megayacht in the Intracoastal

A double-bascule drawbridge closed down on a mega-yacht cruising down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, causing extensive damage to the flybridge.

Slated for the Miami Boat Show, the vessel sustained so much damage it is unlikely the yacht will appear for the show, which annually draws thousands to the international event.