“TheCeļotājs” –
Russian Tsar’s Remnants of Karosta Naval Port

 
The Kalpak’s Bridge and Canal – ANNO 1906 
Lat: N56.54529, Lon: E021.00461
Oskara Kalpaka iela,
Karosta, Liepāja, Latvia
 
               
 
           
 
The swing bridge in Karosta, one of the oldest in Liepaja is a prominent sample of engineering of the early 20th century. 
 
In 1903, the designing of the Bridge began in Sankt-Petersburg Company of metal factory after French engineer Alexander Gustav Eifel “1832-1923 drawings. The sum of projections resulted in 0.49 million Russian Rubles including design and construction “qualified worker’s reward per 10 hour working day was, 1.58 Rubles”. The electric motor and the swing mechanisms were manufactured in Belgium while the metal constructions were brought from Russia, Bryansk. The uprights of the bridge were laid in 1904. 
 
In the summer of 1906, the whole construction could be proved. At first the bridge was loaded with 8 tram coaches and other units, then on 11 August, carts and field cannons with crews and soldiers marching in step were allow to cross the bridge.
 
 
On 19 August 1906, the bridge was solemnly consecrated by the priest of the Saint Nicholas Maritime Cathedral. 
 
Lighting to the bridge was produced by 8 decorative lantern poles forged in iron and bearing 2 lamps each. Today, when the bridge is under reconstruction, there is a plan to renovate the details as well. 20 years later, in 1926, an accident with the Norwegian tanker “Narte” led to damage to the props, the swing mechanisms and a span section of the bridge. It took 2 years to resume traffic across the bridge again. The repairs were carried out at the workshops of the Naval Port while the spare parts were made in Poland. About one half of the total losses were reimbursed by the culprit, the captain and the insurers, the “Lloyd’s of London”. In October 1928 the traffic over the bridge started again. But on 12 July 2006, the northern part of the bridge was damaged by tank ship “Anna”, sailing under Georgian flag. Today the bridge is again in use. 
 
Brief technical description of the construction; its length is 132.28 meters the utmost load capacity is 240t the height above the water is 8.32 meters. The central span section is 64 meters long. The props have been laid 15 meters into the ground. When a vessel is passing through the canal, the 2 similar girders of the bridge are turned apart by 90°. It takes about 4-5 minutes to apply the operation by means of an electric motor or a windless. 
 
People say, it was in the summer of 1936 when a daring pilot pledged to give an evidence of his skills and glided under the arch of a closed bridge by a dihedral plane in presence of the amazed public. The result of the success, through, was the deduction in his lieutenant’s rank.
 
 
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Revised: 12/22/2012 – 17:16:00