The Lekbridge

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Address:
lekbrug
Vianen
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Vianen has been an important river crossing point for centuries. In the 18th Century, this crossing was performed with 3 different ferries. These were (largely) replaced in the year 1813-14 by a pontoon bridge – a bridge whose deck floats on pontoons. The bridge remained in use for almost one century, until the increase in car traffic in the first half of the 20th Century demanded a different solution.

In the early 20th Century, car traffic increased considerably. In 1927, the House of Representatives adopted the State Road Plan. In addition to building roads, 12 bridges were needed to ensure fast and safe passage across major rivers. The Lek Bridge near Vianen was opened in 1936. The bridge had a total length of 500 metres and a central arch spanning 160 metres.

During World War …

Vianen has been an important river crossing point for centuries. In the 18th Century, this crossing was performed with 3 different ferries. These were (largely) replaced in the year 1813-14 by a pontoon bridge – a bridge whose deck floats on pontoons. The bridge remained in use for almost one century, until the increase in car traffic in the first half of the 20th Century demanded a different solution.

In the early 20th Century, car traffic increased considerably. In 1927, the House of Representatives adopted the State Road Plan. In addition to building roads, 12 bridges were needed to ensure fast and safe passage across major rivers. The Lek Bridge near Vianen was opened in 1936. The bridge had a total length of 500 metres and a central arch spanning 160 metres.

During World War II, the Lek Bridge was under constant surveillance. Nevertheless, the bridge was destroyed on 5 January 1945 after being bombed by the Allies. The old pontoon bridge was restored before the Lek Bridge re-opened at the end of 1948.

Traffic and traffic jams remained a major problem. From the 1970s, the Lek Bridge near Vianen was generally notorious for traffic jams. Additional lanes outside the arches provided temporary relief, but the problem still remained. In 1999, a new bridge, the Jan Blanken Bridge, was opened next to the Lek Bridge. Various plans to give the old bridge a new purpose have so far not come to fruition.

Further reading: Jan Blanken funerary monumentLekpoort.

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