This is a post for Sepia Saturday 154.
1952 Nijmegen, Waalbrug 1
1952 Nijmegen, Waalbrug 2
These two postcards were never sent, but have been glued and saved in an album that we used to browse often. My parents must have brought the cards back home from their visit to Nijmegen in 1952. I’ve mentioned this trip in an earlier blogpost: International Four Days Marches Nijmegen.
1982 07 26a Nijmegen, Waalbrug
Sent by my younger sister during a holiday trip.
2001 06 23a Nijmegen, Waalbrug
Sent by me when I was moved to Arnhem, the neighbouring city of Nijmegen.
2009 10 20 Nijmegen, Waalbrug
Own photo from our last visit to Nijmegen.
The Waalbrug is an arch bridge over the Wall River in Nijmegen, Gelderland, the Netherlands. The full length of the Waalbrug is 604 metres (1,982 ft), the middle of the arch being about 65 metres (213 ft) high. The arch itself is 244.1 metres (801 ft) long and was the longest arch in Europe at the time of construction.
Unlike many other bridges from the same period and with the same construction, the Waalbrug is an arch bridge in the literal sense: all forces truly work on the two pylons.
The bridge was opened on 16 June 1936 by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in presence of 200.000 people.
At the start of the Second World War the Dutch combat engineering units blew up the bridge to stop the German army's advance. During the occupation the Germans restored the bridge and from 1943 it was in use for traffic again.
In 1944 the Germans planned to blow up the bridge again, but Jan van Hoof, a Rover Scout and member of the Dutch Resistance, managed to prevent this. On 20 September 1944, the bridge was conquered by allied forces. A plaque was added to the bridge as a reminder of van Hoof's actions.
There is a bus lane on the west side of the Waalbrug. During the morning and evening rush hour there is often a large traffic jam on the bridge. Like the Keizer Karelplein, the bridge is one of the problem traffic thoroughfares in Nijmegen. Currently, another traffic bridge is being built called 'De Oversteek' ('The Crossing') and is due to open late 2013. For cyclists there is the 'Snelbinder Bridge', which is connected to the rail bridge.
Because the Waalbrug is a crucial aspect in regional traffic, it has been difficult to renovate the bridge. Once the new bridge is finished late 2013, traffic will be temporarily diverted to renovate the bridge.
Look for more stories about bridges at Sepia Saturday.