149. Annunciation Bridge across the Bolshaya Neva River 9.26.2014

Annunciation (Blagoveshchensky) Bridge across the Bolshaya Neva River 9.26.2014

Translated from Russian Wikipedia:
Annunciation Bridge (Благовещенский мост, Blagoveshchensky Bridge, formerly also Nikolaev bridge, and Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge) was the first permanent bridge across the Neva river in Saint Petersburg. It connects Vasilievsky Island with the central part of the city at 2nd Admiralty Island. The bridge is the boundary between the Neva and the beginning of the Gulf of Finland.

The Bridge opened November 12th, 1850, and was named for Annunciation Square and the Church of the Annunciation (demolished in 1929 ). After the death of the emperor in 1855, the bridge was renamed Nikolaev. On November 17th, 1918 the name was changed to Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge, in memory of P. P. Schmidt, the leader of the 1905 "Ochakov" rebellion. On August 14, 2007, the name returned to Annunciation Bridge.

The floating Isaac's Bridge was first built in 1727. It was located upstream in the alignment of the modern Senate Square. Construction of the first permanent bridge across the Neva was preceded by lengthy research, experiments, and creative activities by several generations of bridge builders, scientists, technicians and enthusiasts. Since the second half of the 18th century more than 60 projects were proposed by well-known bridge builders EA Adam, PS Bogdanov, AD Gotman, Brunst, and M.G.Destrem. Among the authors of the projects were serf M. Kalashnikov, architect D. Trombaro, Rzhev tradesman Nemilov, large bridge builders S. B. Kerbedz and Vasiliev, State Secretary Loginov, architect A. L. Vitberg, a self-taught inventor I. Kulibin, engineers P. P. Bazin and I. C. Gerard. Foreign authors included German merchant Schill, French engineer Desfontaines, Italian painter and architect F. Minotstsi, English JS Clark Loudon, German engineer Loves Kummer, and the French architect and bridge builder Jean-R. Perrone.

Three options were considered for the site of St. Isaac's floating. Engineer Railways Corps M. G. Destrema proposed new highway bridge from the source of the Kryukov Canal. To do this, it was suggested that part of Kryukov Canal be piped from its source to its intersection with the Admiralty channel, and at this point create Predmostovuyu square with a church in the middle. With the approval of Nicholas I, this version of the route was accepted for execution. Admiralty channel was enclosed in pipe and filled at the site of the Senate Square to the Kryukov Canal. Konnogvardejskiy Boulevard was created in its place.

Construction of the bridge began in 1843 under the direction of SV Kerbedz. American engineer Lt. George Washington Whistler, took part in the construction. The project was beset with great difficulties. It was necessary to build numerous machines, including underwater saws, cranes, diving bells, collars, and pile drivers. The number of employed workers was close to fifteen hundred. The cast iron superstructure was manufactured at the Byrd factory. The St. Petersburg newspaper "Northern Bee" wrote on September 16, 1844:

The construction of the bridge is a gigantic achievement. Hardly a work has ever been done on such a huge scale, with such amazing precision, elegance, taste and using such precious material! Mountains of granite were brought here from Finland and, as a gentle wax, obey the brilliant ideas of man! Steam engines hit the pile in the middle of the deep Neva, while under water foundations are built atop solid stone on pile fortified soil.

In the 1870's sculptor Antokol'skii proposed to establish on the bridge 4 equestrian statues representing leaders of the Russian state: Vladimir Svyatoslavich - educator, Yaroslav the Wise - legislator, Ivan III - collector, and Peter I. But because of financial difficulties the sculptures were never installed on the bridge.

The massive yet delicate railings were designed by the architect A. Briullov depicting symbols of water: Neptune's trident is flanked by seahorses.

The bridge was a vosmiprolёtnym design, with the right side span being a drawbridge. It was the first movable span steering system in Russia. According to legend, Nicholas I promised Kerbedz a promotion in rank for each span, earning him a general's rank after the completion.

The bridge opened on November 21 1850, on the occasion of the Presentation of the Theotokos. The bridge was consecrated with a huge gathering of people of all classes. During the second hour of the celebration came the emperor, their Imperial Highness, the Grand Dukes, and those from the highest suites. Accompanied by a huge crowd everyone rushed across the bridge from the English Promenade to Vasilevsky Island. On return, the procession was as follows: the emperor in the first carriage, the grand dukes Konstantin and Mikhail in the second, the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich in the third, and His Imperial Highness the Duke of Leuchtenberg in the fourth.

The old bridge with a chapel and a turning mechanism can be seen in the Eisenstein film "October". A silver commemorative medal was released in honor of the bridge construction.

Modernization was required in the 1930's, both in terms of ground transportation, and the large vessels that were beginning to ply the White Sea-Baltic and Volga-Baltic Waterway. Additionally there was progressive deformation of the right-bank abutment caused by jammed mechanisms. Reconstruction of the bridge was carried out from 1936 to 1938 by architects K. M. Dmitriev, L. Noskov, and engineers G. P. Perederiy, and VI Kryzhanovsky.

The swing span was moved to the center of the bridge, and the width of the draw span doubled from 21 to 42 meters. The width of the bridge was increased by 4 meters, reaching 24 meters (with a carriageway width of 18 meters). The bridge was opened to traffic November 5, 1938, and the grand opening was held on November 7, 1938.

One aspect of the reconstruction of the bridge was the use of light to provide a composition on the Champ de Mars, which can be seen to this day.

In 2006 the bridge was again reconstructed. A temporary bridge, dubbed "the son of Lieutenant Schmidt", was put into operation on May 9 2006. This temporary bridge carried traffic and pedestrians, while the Lieutenant Schmidt bridges was dismantled. Updating the Annunciation bridge cost the city $3.97 billion rubles. It was carried out by the Mostootryad organization and was insured by Hephaestus for more than $2.47 billion rubles.

On the swing span, a compact hydraulic drive was installed, equipped with new cylinders. Tram service was removed and barriers were installed to separate oncoming lanes. Automatic crash barriers were installed at the crossing. The bridge was equipped with an automated system for the movable span. The understudy was dismantled, and later used in the reconstruction of the Bolshoi Petrovsky bridge.

The opening ceremony was August 15, 2007 at 10 am. Because the arched shape resembled the Nicholas era (Annunciation) Bridge, which had been modified during the 1938 renovation, it was decided to return the bridge to its historic name.

Bridge Characteristics:
Length: 300 m, Width: 20 m, Sidewalk Width: 1.5 m, 2 Lanes of traffic + Tramways, Movable Span at the right bank

Length: 300 m, Width: 24 m, Sidewalk Width: 1.5 m, 4 Lanes of traffic + Tramways, Movable Span in the center

Length: 331 m, Width: 37 m, Sidewalk Width: 3 m, 8 Lanes of traffic, Movable Span in the center

automobile, pedestrian
Overall length:
331 m
Width of the bridge:
37 m
Began Operation:
Closed for reconstruction
1936 - 1939 , 2005 - 2007
59 ° 56'04 "with. lat. 30 ° 17'22 "to. e. sh. 30.2897056 ° c. (G) (O) (I)

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