The Passerelle Debilly
- The Passerelle Debilly
- (Photo : ENPC)
We have to think back to the Universal Exhibition of 1900 which took over both banks of the Seine to understand that this footbridge (originally intended to be temporary) was built to provide better access to various museums built specially for the occasion. This metal footbridge was designed by the engineers Resal, Alby and Lion. At various times it has been known as the Passerelle de l’Exposition Militaire, de Magdebourg or de Billy - one of Namoléon’s generals who was killed at the battle of Iéna in 1806 (from where the footbridge takes its present name).
It managed to survive various threats of destruction and, with the Eiffel Tower, shows the metal architecture that was typical of the turn of the twentieth century. The City of Paris took over the management of the structure in 1903 and after a few alterations moved it to its present position opposite the Rue de la Manutention in 1906. The “temporary” footbridge thus became a permanent one, keeping the name “Debilly”. It is contemporary with the Pont Alexandre III and the Viaduc d’Austerlitz. It was repainted in 1991 and in 1997 its decking was replaced with tropical hardwood.
Designers: the engineers RESAL, ALBY and LION.
Contractors: DAYDE and PILLE.
Construction date: 1900
Total length: 120m
Effective width: 8m
Constructional features: Metal footbridge with three hinged spans supported by piers. Central span of 75 metres formed by an arch with an intermediate deck. The end spans of 22.50 metres are formed by two half arches.