Canal bridges

Published on 5 March 2008

A decription of canal bridges and aqueduct bridges.

The Guétin canal bridge near Nevers has 18 arches. It is 343m long and 9.33m wide, with 1.60m of water. It carries the Loire lateral canal over the River Allier and was built in 1837-1838 by Julien and Talabot
The Guétin canal bridge near Nevers has 18 arches. It is 343m long and 9.33m wide, with 1.60m of water. It carries the Loire lateral canal over the River Allier and was built in 1837-1838 by Julien and Talabot
(Photo Marcel Prade)

All bridges do not carry a road or a railway. Some perform a different function:

The Roquefavour viaduct, in the Bouches-du-Rhône département near Ventabren, carries water from the Durance river to Marseille. It was built by Frantz de Montricher and first carried water on 30 June 1847. It is 375m in length, 82.5m in height and its widest arch has a 16m span
The Roquefavour viaduct, in the Bouches-du-Rhône département near Ventabren, carries water from the Durance river to Marseille. It was built by Frantz de Montricher and first carried water on 30 June 1847. It is 375m in length, 82.5m in height and its widest arch has a 16m span
(Photo : Y.B. Brissaud).

Aqueduct bridges

These carry water for human needs. Those built by the Romans are justly famous and admired to this day, but there are other more recent aqueducts which do not receive all the attention they deserve.

Canal bridges

These carry a navigation or irrigation canal over a river or valley. They are a relatively recent type of structure, the oldest being those at Répudre and Trèbes on the Canal du Midi, which both date from 1676.

The first canal bridges were small - a single span of 3m in the case of the Répudre bridge and 8.60m in the case of the Trèbes bridge. The first canal bridges were masonry structures, but more recent bridges are metal, for example the best known and largest of all, the Briare canal-bridge.