Victoria Falls Bridge
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Mafushwa
S 17° 55.701 E 025° 51.428
35K E 378957 N 8017369
Quick Description: The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses the Zambezi River just below the Victoria Falls and is built over the Second Gorge of the falls. As the river is the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the bridge links the two countries and has border posts on the approaches to both ends, at the towns of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Livingstone, Zambia.
Location: Zimbabwe
Date Posted: 1/6/2015 1:22:56 AM
Waymark Code: WMN6RC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 7

Long Description:
Carries: road, rail, foot traffic

Crosses: Zambezi River

Locale: Second Gorge of Victoria Falls, crossing the Zimbabwe-Zambia border

Maintained by: National railways of Zimbabwe and Zambia


Design: Parabolic arch

Material: Steel

Total length: 198 metres (650 ft)

Height: 128 metres (420 ft)

Longest span: 156.5 metres (513 ft)

Number of spans: 1

Piers in water: 0


Designer: G. A. Hobson

Constructed by: Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company

Construction begin: 1904
Construction end: 1905

The bridge was the brainchild of Cecil Rhodes, part of his grand and unfulfilled Cape to Cairo railway scheme, even though he never visited the falls and died before construction of the bridge began.
Rhodes is recorded as instructing the engineers to "build the bridge across the Zambezi where the trains, as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls".
It was designed by George Andrew Hobson of consultants Sir Douglas Fox and Partners, not as is often stated, Sir Ralph Freeman, who contributed to the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the time of the design of the Victoria Falls Bridge, Freeman was an assistant in the firm who, in those pre-computer days, was calculating stresses.

The bridge was constructed in England by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company, before being shipped to the Mozambique port of Beira and then transported on the newly constructed railway to the Victoria Falls. It took just 14 months to construct and was completed in 1905.

The bridge was officially opened by Professor George Darwin, son of Charles Darwin and President of the British Association (now the British Science Association) on 12 September 1905. The American Society of Civil Engineers lists the bridge as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

The age of the bridge and maintenance problems have led to traffic restrictions at times. Trains cross at less than walking pace and trucks were limited to 30 t, necessitating heavier trucks to make a long diversion via the Kazungula Ferry or Chirundu Bridge. The limit was raised after repairs in 2006, but proposals for more fundamental rehabilitation or construction of a new bridge have been aired.

Today one of the Victoria Falls Bridge's main attraction are historical guided tours focusing on the construction of the bridge and which include a walking tour under the main deck.
Length of bridge: 198m

Height of bridge: 128m

What type of traffic does this bridge support?: road, rail, foot traffic

What kind of gap does this bridge cross?:

Date constructed: 1905

Is the bridge still in service for its original purpose?: Yes

Name of road or trail the bridge services: Livingstone way

Victoria Falls / Livingstone

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