Tag Archives: span

Behold: the Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass in Durham, North Carolina — aka the 11 Foot 8 Bridge, aka ‘The Can Opener’.

For eleven years, this low span has been tearing the tops off trucks despite light sensors and clear signage warning the drivers of tall vehicles. The carnage has been such that the bridge has long since been fitted with a camera, generating an endless stream of impact videos

Due to an unground sewage line, the road can’t be lowered but the local authority has now finally agreed to raise the bridge height by eight inches, thereby ending an era.



PaperBridge-032 IMG_0640 IMG_0658 PaperBridge-001 PaperBridge-003 PaperBridge-006

Paperbridge by environmental artist Steve Messam: a free standing arch (no glue or fixings, just gravity and friction) spanning a stream at Grisedale Valley in Cumbria.

Constructed from 22,000 sheets of bright red paper, the ‘bridge’ weighs over 4.2 tonnes. Messam sez of it:

Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour used in the bridge contrasts with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper once the project ends. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.


rakotzbruckehuangshan,anhuichinalatefossennorwaymultnomahfalls, oregongorgedel'areuse,switxerland glenfinnianviaduct,scotland gaztelugatxe,spain
A small selection of the 193+ sumptuous spans on show at Bored Pandas ‘Mystical Bridges’ open submission post.

Above: Rakotz Brücke , Germany; Huangshan, Annui, China; Låtefossen Waterfall, Norway; Multnomah Falls, Oregon; Gorge De l’Areuse, Switzerland; the Glenfinnan Viaduct (yes, used in three Harry Potter films) in Scotland and Gaztelugatxe, Spain.