Paul Sauer Bridge in Bitou Rural, Western Cape
The Paul Sauer, otherwise erroneously known as The Storms River Bridge, is a concrete arch bridge which spans the Storms River on the border line of the Eastern and Western Cape. The bridge carries the N2, a 2-lane highway of road traffic, over the Storms River and is 100m long and 120m high.
Designed by the Italian engineer, Ricardo Morandi, and completed in 1956, the bridge is unusual for having inclined spandrel supports that radiate out from the main arch rib. The approach supports are also inclined in the opposite direction, balancing out the profile of the entire bridge. The use of inclined supports is a Morandi trait visible on nearly all of his bridges.
The halves of the arch were built with climbing formworks in essentially a vertical position on opposite sides of the river canyon and then rotated and lowered into position to meet at the centre and so form the completed arch structure.
On the western plateau of the Gorge, just beyond the bridge, you'll find a 1-Stop fuel and refreshment station. The on-site restaurant has a dining and viewing deck which provides a good vantage point to take in the bridge and gorge. The Bridge also has a pedestrian lane which is a photographer's dream but should be avoided if you have a fear of heights
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