One of the longest surviving historic bridges in the country is this multi-span bowstring truss with a long, complicated history. It was reportedly designed by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
There are three events that have badly damaged this bridge. The first was in 1904 when a typhoon damaged the bridge. One photo appears to show about four spans collapsed. One source claimed repairs to whatever damage was caused did not take place until 1937. However, a 1906 and 1909 postcard shows the whole bridge standing so the damage appears to have been repaired quickly. Since this occured only a few years after the bridge was built the new spans probably took the same form and design details as the original spans.
Some of the northern spans of the bridge were destroyed in 1946 during fighting between independence forces and the French. The destroyed spans were apparantly rebuilt after this time. These rebuilt spans were similar to the original spans but lacked v-lacing on built-up members.
In 1968, two central spans were destroyed in the Battle of Hue.
As seen today, the northern four spans of the bridge are clearly newer than the southern two spans. The southern two spans appear to be the only spans that date to 1899. These spans contain lighter members and there is v-lacing used on the built-up beams of the bridge. The northern four spans are a heavier design and use battens instead of v-lacing for the built-up members. Otherwise however the appearance of both original spans and the repalcement spans are very similar, and all feature riveted construction. It is not known if all four northern spans date to after the 1968 destruction, or if one or more of the rebuilt spans from after 1946 survived.
Due to the differing design of the bridge spans, HistoricBridges.org features a large set of detail photos divided into the northern and southern spans.
Above: Bridge at night with decorative lighting.
Above: Photo showing spans collapsed in 1904 from a typhoon.
Above: Bridge in 1906.
Above: Bridge in 1909.
Above: Destruction of the bridge in 1946
Above: Destruction of the bridge in 1968. Note that the collapsed span in the foreground has v-lacing on its members and thus may be an original span. The other collapsed span in the distance lacks v-lacing and thus appears to be one of the rebuilt spans from the 1946 destruction.
Refugees fleeing over the collapsed bridge in 1968.
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