Image description

The image shows the King Carol First Bridge, called Anghel Saligny, during the communist period, which serves both road and rail traffic, viewed from side.

The bridge ensures the passage of vehicles over the Danube, making the connection between Feteși and Cernavoda, later also between Bucharest and Constanța, for the railway line located in the lower part.

Above the railway is the highway with two lanes.

The high and triangular shapes, with sharp points, located along the bridge, are part of the superstructure, made of concrete and metal pillars, called towers, connected to each other by metal support wires, called suspender cables, stretched by each tower, over the top of it, called the saddle.

The superstructure is rendered by grid texture.

The infrastructure is the construction of the base of the bridge, respectively the towers foundation made of the massive concrete pillars, called piers, which support the entire weight of the superstructure, and which are fixed in the ground in vertical position, being marked by vertical rectangles, thin and embossed.

And so the piers from the foundation are continued towards the superstructure with the towers.

The horizontal distance between two consecutive towers is called the main span, so the bridge consists of a succession of towers and spans.

Therefore, this sequence is highlighted here by sharp-pointed ascents, meaning the tall towers and descents, respectively the flat spans.

Also part of the infrastructure is the bridge deck, with the road, railway and sidewalk, located between the superstructure and the base, rendered by a thickened and horizontal line.

The ends of the bridge, called bridgeheads, are fortification made of high and thick concrete walls, left and right, are highlighted by two vertical rectangles, embossed, with a narrow top.

General information

The idea of ​​building a bridge at Cernavoda circulated in the second half of the nineteenth century, in order to ensure a direct connection with the Black Sea for trade, given that the Danube was unsuitable for navigation for four months a year. (Bibliography 1)

The construction of a bridge over the Danube between Giurgiu and Ruse was part of a larger project through which Romanian railways were to be connected to those in Bulgaria, easing trade to Istanbul on the Russe-Yambol-Edirne (Adrianople) route. (Bibliography 2)

In 1873, the Parliament voted the Law on the Bridge over the Danube in Giurgiu, a law sanctioned by Prince Carol The First. Based on it, the construction conditions and the future junction with the Bulgarian railways were to be discussed. However, the project was not carried out, as the Balkan area was affected by the Russo-Turkish war. Subsequently, the recognition of Romania’s independence and the granting of Dobrogea following the Treaty of Berlin (1878), the construction of the bridge came back into discussion (Bibliography 3). Romania’s economic relations with the newly annexed Dobrogea required the construction of a bridge over the Danube for easy access to the port of Constanta, offering the prospect that cereals can be exported in winter.

Before the construction of the bridge, the connection between Bucharest and Constanţa was made by train to Giurgiu or Brăila, from where the ship was taken to Cernavoda and from here another train to Constanţa, an action which, during the winter, was affected by the delay of the ships , due to the weather (Bibliography 4). The railway between Cernavoda and Constanta had been built by the British company Black Sea Railway Company Limited, from which it was leased by the Romanian state, in order to start modernizing the port of Constanta and building the bridge over the Danube.
It was decided to organize an international competition to find the bridge project. In 1883, the first commission was set up, which included professors from Berlin and Paris, with Anghel Saligny as secretary. Eight projects were received, which were rejected on the grounds that they did not meet the required qualities (Bibliography 6).

A second competition was organized, where five projects were submitted, all considered equally non-compliant. In this context, Salingy, then 32, was asked to submit his own project (Bibliography 7). In only two years, working with Romanian engineers, most of his former students from the National School of Bridges and Roads, finished the bridge projects (Bibliography 8).
The construction of the bridge took place between 1890 and 1895, and the inauguration took place in September 1895, through a festivity attended by King Carol The First. After the last rivet was struck, a silver rivet, the bridge was crossed by two trains, during which Anghel Salingy, together with his team, stood on a boat under the bridge, in order to guarantee its resistance (Bibliography 9).

The bridge was accompanied by ancillary works, on the Feteşti-Cernavoda railway line, including the large bridge over Borcea, with 3 main spans of 140 meters each and viaducts at the ends of the two bridges over the Danube and over the Baltic, with 60 spans of 42 meters up to 60 meters each (Bibliography 10).
The bridge built by Anghel Salingy was used as the only railway transport alternative until 1987, when a new bridge was built, next to the old one, and, parallel to the railway bridge, a road bridge was built (Bibliography 11).

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