|Railway Bridge Across the Neman|
Two dressed stone piers grew 20 meters high in the watercourse of the Neman and held three-span cantilever design (Gerber's system). The total length of the one way deck bridge was 239.04 meters. Two 240 ft (73.18 m) long shore clearances were spanned with side trusses which had cantilever arms stretching 45 ft (13.72 m) to middle of river. The middle suspended truss 214 ft 8 inch long (65.43 m) rested on cantilever arms of side trusses.
Foundations of abutments were laid in mainland on piles and piers were built on the caissons planted for 16.5 m (left) and 13.8 (right) into the river bed.
Trusses made of cast iron had a weight of 63,393 poods (1014.288 tonnes). The bridge deck was designed to be usable not for trains exclusively but for carts also. The bridge including ascensions for driving atop of causeway, reinforcement of river banks and spans cost 700,000 roubles.
It was one of the first bridges of Gerber's design in the entire Russian Empire then. Russian engineer Nikolay Belelyubsky designed it. This is what the inhabitants of Alytus recall about the bridge:
"Trains were passing "full steam" along the bridge, it slightly swayed because was suspended on the huge hooks. It was raised between steep right shore and high mound on the left bank. The peasants from Alytus and its environs built it without payment under obligation. High and long, green bridge was in harmony with the surroundings. The inhabitants of Alytus loved it and were proud of it."
The bridge was, probably, the highest bridge, built by the Russians across the Neman. They constructed six railroad bridges until 1914: in Stolptsy, so called the Nemanskaya stantsiya bridge, in Masty, in Grodna, in Olita and also in Kovno. One railway bridge over the Neman was raised by the Germans in Tilsit (Sovetsk).
The storms of the WWI relentlessly damaged the bridge - the stepping back Russian troops exploded the truss and one pier of the railway bridge in August 1915.
Having seized Olita the Germans immediately started the reconstruction of the bridge. The rebuilt wooden bridge was used until January 1926, until railway administration decided to shut it and later demount it for safety reasons. The bridge has not been rebuilt since, despite the intentions of restoring the railway Alytus - Varena.
In 2009 by order of Alytus municipality JSC Mitnija designed foot and bicycle bridge using the remaining abutments and piers of the railway bridge. The project was eventually abandoned of excessive cost.
In 2012 JSC TEC designed new cheaper bridge. In August 2013 JSC Alkesta began the construction of foot and bicycle bridge. The new one. At the end of 2015 the construction was finished.
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