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Magdeburg Water Bridge – Germany


So far it is mainly known that concrete bridges are responsible for bridging gaps between landforms and land parts however, here is a water bridge which bridges the gap between two water bodies as well as two conflicted part of a nation in Germany and offers a great help in transporting cargoes through the Elbe River. This is the Magdeburg Water Bridge which runs between Elbe-Havel Canal and Mittelland Canal and has been of great use ever since its completion in 2003.


Linking the Eastern and Western parts of Germany and stretching over a distance 918 meters, the Magdeburg Water Bridge is known to be the longest aqueduct in the world which is used for navigational purpose. It was built keeping in mind the inconveniences faced due to the presence of Elbe-Havel Canal and Mittelland Canal on either side of the Elbe River and the depth of the river being lower than those of the canals. This lead to the ships taking an off route of 12 kilometres in order to travel through the river and the heavy cargo barges to undergo tiresome processes of offloading and on loading in order to travel through the river and canals. Thus, after the union of the two parts of Germany this venture was taken up in order to save time and energy.


The Magdeburg Water Bridge is 3000 feet long with a width of 112 feet and a depth of 14 feet. The construction of the Magdeburg Water Bridge demanded 24,000 tonnes of steel and 68,000 cubic metres of concrete and lastly a financial expenditure of 501 million Euros. Measures were taken to secure it from earthquakes and the side of the bridge were lined with rubber in order to tackle winds and also enable ease for the boats. Though the planning and initial construction of the Magdeburg Water Bridge started as early as 1905 but the interfering events such as World War II and the division of Germany led to the suspension of the work which once again got started in 1997. As a result of the Magdeburg Water Bridge now the inland water way of Berlin is connected to all major harbours which fall on the Rhine River.


Now the Magdeburg Water Bridge allows big barges and ships to cross with ease and is also a structure which people come to see from all parts of the world. It has even got some media attention in the form of being picturized in films like Hanna. It has been equipped with some double lock systems which help the vessels to descend from the bridge to the canals and so on.

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