Charles Albert Bridge

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Charles Albert Bridge
Pont Charles Albert
Caille Bridge
Pont Caille
Allonzier-la-Caille, Rhône-Alpes, France
482 feet high / 147 meters high
(600) foot span / (183) meter span
1839
World's Highest Bridge 1839-1912

Image by Henry Volt.


The highest bridge in the world upon its opening in July of 1839, the Pont Charles Albert retained this record for 73 years - one year longer than the Royal Gorge bridge in Colorado and the longest any bridge has held the title since the stone aqueducts of ancient times. Built in honor of the Duke of Knowledge, King Charles Albert of Sardinia, the narrow span crosses high above the Usses River in the mountainous Rhône-Alpes region of France. In 1928 the one lane suspension bridge was bypassed by a new Caille bridge that also entered the record books as the longest span concrete arch bridge. Since then the Charles Albert has become one of the world’s 10 highest pedestrian-only bridges complete with a souvenir shop and snack bar. The classic structure still stands as Europe’s highest suspension bridge while the new Caille bridge next to it is Europe’s second highest arch bridge after the Gueuroz bridge over the Trient River in Switzerland.

The stone towers are an imposing pile, made to look like the entrance to a medieval castle or fortress. Like many classic French suspension bridges of the 1800s, the two main cable suspension planes are each composed of 3 separate cables with vertical suspender cables spaced evenly apart from each other to more uniformly support the weight of the thin deck. The engineers of record are E. Belin and C. Berthier.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Christophe Seger.


Charles Albert Bridge image Copyright PBYhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pby/2800407659/


Both spans are referred to as the Caille bridge though only the suspension bridge is named after Charles Albert.


Charles Albert / Caille Bridge postcard.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Christophe Seger.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Henry Volt.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Henry Volt.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Christophe Seger.


Charles Albert Bridge image by Henry Volt.


Caille Bridge image by Henry Volt.


Charles Albert Bridge image Copyright PBYhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pby/2800407659/


Charles Albert / Caille Bridge postcard.


Caille Bridge image by Henry Volt.


Charles Albert Bridge image Copyright PBYhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pby/2800407659/


Charles Albert Bridge satellite image.


Charles Albert Bridge satellite image.

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