T2M International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility, 14th T2M Annual Conference 2016 - Mobilities: Space of Flows and Friction

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Planning of large infrastructures under changing paradigms. Bridge building during the time of transition from horse to motor, 1880
J Burchardt

Last modified: 2016-10-11


Large infrastructure projects are responsible for the assembly of larger spaces. But planning a project is not straightforward. It is a significant decision because the infrastructure will exist for 80 years or more, and many preconditions can change within such a long time period. Infrastructures are usually very costly, and therefore it takes time to make decisions, make detailed plans, and realize a project. Over the whole period of probably more than 100 years, the transport paradigm can undergo changes.

This was the case of one of the most important bridges in Denmark, the one between Fyn and Jutland. The first rather realistic idea came up 135 years ago, and the bridge will be functioning many more years. In this period, the transport paradigm has changed several times.

Most important was the change in road transport from horse driven carriages to motor cars. It was especially a problem because the bridge started as a pure railway bridge with the National Railway Company as the contractor and planner. During the planning period, voices spoke out in favor of the new means of transport, but when the parliament made a resolution about the bridge building in 1924 it was to serve only as a bridge for the railroad. The spokesmen for the inclusion of automobiles became stronger, and the railway company agreed to put a ferry under the bridge with place for three personal cars

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