Soaring, scenic, suspended: Top five unique bridges in Moscow

September 10

There are more than 800 bridges in Moscow. Some of them connect river banks, several cross over roads, while others are meant for walking. There are some unique structures in each of these categories. Check out the article below prepared by Moscow’s Department of Housing, Utilities and Amenities to find out which of the city’s bridges are the most popular and unusual.

Zhivopisny Bridge

One of the tallest cable-stayed bridges in Europe and the only one in its kind in Moscow, this bridge connects Novorizhskoye Motorway with Prospekt Marshala Zhukova.

The cable-stayed technology was used to build its widest 400-metre span so that ships could pass under it. The muddy banks could not hold the supports for such a heavy structure, so cables were used instead. For the same reason, the bridge was not built straight across the river, but installed diagonally.

Built only 13 years ago, this bridge immediately became one of the most striking sights in Moscow. Moreover, its unusual architecture is not the only impressive aspect, as its dimensions are no less formidable – it is 1,460 metres long and 40 metres wide, while the upper point of the arch with the suspended glass sphere is higher than 100 metres. There was a plan to open a restaurant or a registry office inside the glass sphere, but so far, it remains empty.

Krymsky Bridge

Krymsky Bridge is one of the most beautiful, famous and popular among tourists. It offers spectacular panoramas of Gorky Park, the Christ the Saviour Cathedral and the Moskva River.

However, its uniqueness lies not only in its prime location, but also in its special suspended structure. It consists of a deck, pylons and chains connected by vertical braces to the main load-carrying element (the stiffening beam). All of its components are made of high strength steel, and the retaining walls and stairways are faced with granite.

This is the only suspension bridge in the capital. Built in 1938, the bridge had a major overhaul in 2001: its roadway and sidewalks were renewed, and the granite facing of the stairs and other significant elements were renovated. In 2007, Krymsky Bridge was included in the register of the city's protected cultural heritage sites.

River Overlook

The Zaryadye Park has a unique ‘soaring bridge.’ Although unveiled just three years ago, it has quickly become one of the most visited landmarks in the Russian capital. Technically, it is a huge observation deck towering over the Moskva River, offering a panorama of St Basil’s Cathedral, the Spasskaya Tower, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the shopping arcade.

River Overlook is shaped like the Latin letter V and features a 70-metre promenade with no supports bordered by a tall glass balustrade. Its dimensions are also quite impressive – its length is 244 metres, and its weight is 3,700 tonnes.

The prestressed reinforced concrete used in the construction ensures that the structure remains robust. This kind of material is made with high tensile steel reinforcements, which are stretched with a special device and poured over with concrete mixture. Additional stability is achieved through the use of lightweight finishing materials. For example, the flooring of the walking area is made of larch, and the balustrades are made of glass.

Bogdan Khmelnitsky Bridge

Another unusual structure in Moscow is the Bogdan Khmelnitsky pedestrian bridge. It connects the Kievsky Railway Station area with Plyushchikha Street and Savvinskaya Embankment.

The bridge was unveiled in 2001. It is completely covered by a glass canopy, and can house cultural events, festivals, competitions and exhibitions. Several years ago, a world record was set on the bridge for the number of couples kissing there at the same time.

The structure is 235 metres long, while its spans (arches), made back in 1905-1907, are each 135 metres high with a weight of 1,750 tonnes. Previously, they were part of the Krasnoluzhsky Bridge built on the 38th kilometre of the Moscow Ring Road.

Now this arched structure, which rests of reinforced concrete pylons, is completely covered with a glass dome and painted bright yellow and green.

Krestovsky Bridge

Krestovsky Bridge on Prospekt Mira runs over the tracks of the Oktyabrskaya Railway. This overpass is distinguished by two fountains on each side. Moreover, for most of their existence, they were purely decorative, non-operational, elements, but five years ago city planners decided to make them function. Engineers installed water pumps and connected the fountains to electricity. Now they spout water during the warmer months.

The bridge itself is quite old, built in 1937 on the site of a 19th century overpass. In the 18th century, Krestovskyie Outposts were located there – customs posts where officials checked visitors’ documents, goods and cargos. Those outposts gave the bridge its name.


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