El Viaducto

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Segovia Viaduct,  Madrid,  June 2017

El Viaducto de Segovia is a major motor and pedestrian bridge in Madrid, allowing Calle de Bailén to cross Calle de Segovia and providing access from the city to the Royal Palace.

This crossing was originally the idea of one of the architects of the Royal Palace in 1736, but it was many decades before both desire and money coincided.  Its first physical appearance happened in 1874.  This remarkable iron structure, was 13 metres wide, 23 metres heigh and ran for 120 metres.

Weather and time took their toll and cracks were detected in 1925.  A contest for a replacement was held in 1932 and the winning design of concrete and granite opened in 1934.  This version faced its own challenges, suffering significant damage during the Spanish Civil War.  This resulted in closure for repair, reopening in March 1942.  Increase in traffic volume soon placed still greater demands on the structure and access had to be limited in 1976 for safety reasons.

Substantial renovation was undertaken over the next two years, and El Viaducto grew not only in strength, but also 2 metres in height and 200 metres in span.

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Reflections on the Segovia Viaduct,  Madrid,  June 2017

Sadly, this impressive crossing acquired a new common name of suicide bridge, with the loss of life growing in the 1990s to at least four per month.  As a result, thick acrylic barriers were added in 1998 and they were successful in their intention.

They had the added side effect of providing me with the reflection shot above.


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 28 July 2017

Posted as part of Weekend Reflections

3 thoughts on “El Viaducto

  1. I was in Madrid in 1967, and your post about this bridge elicits all sorts of memories. Travel makes life come to life. Now that I am older, what I remember most are travels!

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