Thursday, 22nd January 2009 by

Here in the Netherlands we find a very unusual kind of bridge.

Like many small bridges, the bright blue and yellow Slauerhoffbrug is required to retract out of the way to let boats pass by. Unfortunately the Google Earth images were captured while the bridge was acting as a road, so other than a strange structure bolted on the side, it isn’t yet clear why we’d want to link to it…

Switch over to Bird’s Eye View on Live Maps however, and we suddenly see what makes this bridge so unusual! The middle section of the road is contained on a massive arm that swings upwards, pulling the middle of the bridge through 90 degrees, way up into the air! (Ground-level picture)

You can also see that due to the position of the swinging arm of the bridge, there’s a large gap in the surface of the road when the bridge is in the open position. This gap is filled by the arm when the bridge is open to traffic, and the arm even has road markings on it.

Built in 2000, the Slauerhoffbrug is a kind of cantilevered drawbridge, but skewed to one side. Apparently it was built like this so that the mechanism could be built beside the road without interrupting the flow of traffic – except for a few days at the end of the construction.

Many thanks to Wojtek Kutyla.