Friday, October 06, 2006

About the Pont de Grenelle

In 1827,a  192 m long wooden toll-bridge was built. It was designed by the architect MALLET, at the initiative of the developers of the Beaugrenelle district.

Despite a number of repairs and the rebuilding of four spans between 1849 and 1873, it began to collapse under the increased weight of traffic as a result of a celebration given on 13th July 1873 in honour of the Shah of Persia. This incident swung the 1874 decision to replace it with a six-arch cast iron bridge designed by the engineers VAUDREY and PESSON.

It should be noted that following the construction of this new bridge, instruments invented by VAUDREY were used for the first time in 1875 to record deflection during loading and vibration tests.

On the Allée des Cygnes which separates the bridge into two symmetrical halves of three spans, a circular area was prepared in order to take a bronze scale model of Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty which dominates the port of New York. At the inauguration of this statue in 1885, Bartholdi deplored the fact that she was facing east and turning her back on America. It was only at the universal exposition of 1938 that he was to be granted posthumous satisfaction.From the beginning of the century, the bridge proved to be incapable of handling the rise in road and river traffic and also began to show signs of major cracking and corrosion. The decision was thus taken to rebuild it in 1961 as part of the programme to renovate the Front de Seine riverbank district.

A new bridge was designed by the engineers THENAULT, GRATTESAT and PILON and built between 1966 and 1968. It comprises two main metal spans of 85 m, crossing the two branches of the Seine, a 20 m span above the Ile des Cygnes and two 15 m concrete spans over the right and left bank expressways.

The downstream tip of the Ile des Cygnes was modified to take the Statue of Liberty and was joined to the bridge by a pre-stressed concrete walkway 34.50 m long.



Construction date

Total length
220 m

Construction principles
Metal bridge consisting of seven welded girders making up two main spans of 85 m on each of the two branches of the Seine, and a 20 m span above the Ile des Cygnes.

A pre-stressed concrete walkway 34 m long joins the bridge to the Ile des Cygnes islet.

Statue of Liberty on the downstream tip of the Ile des Cygnes.


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