The Tram bridge (now Pedestrian) across the Terek River in Vladikavkaz is a monument of engineering art, an architectural and cultural heritage site of federal significance.
In 1903, the first reinforced concrete bridge was erected for the tram to run from the left bank of the Terek to the right. On August 16, 1904, the grand opening of the tram movement in the city took place. On August 3, 1904, with a huge crowd of townspeople, to the ringing of church bells, the first tram left the depot, crossed the bridge built for it and moved along the route."
“...Vladikavkaz is the eighth city in Russia that introduced electric tramway traffic. In order to run the tram across the Terek River, the Belgian concession that developed the tram fleet had to build a reliable bridge. Reinforced concrete was just introduced in the construction industry in Russia. The Vladikavkaz bridge was one of the first reinforced concrete bridges of this type in Russia. It is mentioned in Russian textbooks as an example of the technical perfection of bridge structures of that time. It was called a three-span reinforced concrete bridge with solid walls. With a total length of 80 meters, the bridge has three arched spans – due to such a complex and bold design, the structure is considered a monument of engineering today...” (S.Tsallagov “Chronicle in stone”)
In 1936, due to the reconstruction of the tram network, tram traffic across the bridge was stopped. From this time on, the bridge has been used only for pedestrian traffic. At present, the bridge structures need to be repaired and restored, which includes the dismantling and transfer of the communications attached to the bridge structures that distorted the original appearance of the monument, and the improvement of the adjacent territories on the right and left sides of the bridge.
The bridge is currently in state of failure. Can't demolish – restore. The issue of reconstruction of the bridge is very painful for the townspeople. The city authorities have been talking about the need for restoration for more than 20 years
“A warning sign that the bridge is in state of failure and walking on it is life-threatening has been hanging there for five years. The fact that the bridge needs not only to be repaired, but to be saved is obvious to anyone who has ever walked on it. Entire spans of the fence have collapsed, concrete supports and reinforcement of load-bearing elements have been destroyed. In 2011, when the Vladikavkaz Administration decided to reconstruct the Tram Bridge, city residents took part in a protest. The Mayor's Office refers to the conclusions of experts, according to which the restoration of the bridge, as required by the townspeople, was possible 15 years ago, but today its condition requires a complete reconstruction. An examination carried out by specialists from the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Bridges and Flaw Detection Using X-ray Units revealed the destruction of concrete, complete corrosion of iron structures, the absence of bottom reinforcement and through cracks in the slab serving as a base for pedestrians...” (M.Sageeva for The this is Caucasus website)
Photo and video materials by Eugeny Ivanov
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Personal stories of Vladikavkaz residents
Dreams of something better
My happiest dreams are the dreams about childhood. Everything is always good and serene in them; all relatives are still alive and happy. A homely little world in a favorite city.
The brightest memories are the way to kindergarten and back home. It is even hard to call it a memory, it is a feeling of immersion in the past, 10D reality with the smell of asphalt, a scattering of chestnuts on the sidewalk and the sounds of the morning city.
The path to kindergarten is the same every day. Dad and I walk along Markus Street, turn to Dzhanaev Street, then to Tamaev Street and reach the very end of the street – to the gates of the kindergarten. Only the poems that he reads to me on the way are different every day. Today it is Simonov, yesterday it was Yesenin, tomorrow it will be Blok.
However, the road home is long and unpredictable. My grandmother picks me up from the kindergarten, and we go for a Walk (this is the only way I can write this word, only with a capital letter). We go down Butyrin Street to the park and there we decide where we will go today: to the old mill or to the round stage, to ride "boats" or to look through the muddy windows in the greenhouse.
Most often I ask to go to the "little bridge". It means walking across the bridge in the park, then walk to “Dynamo”, and here it is, the bridge of my fantasies! Grandma doesn't know why I love it so much, it's my secret. She thinks I like the view of the mountains from this bridge because I stop constantly. But the mountains don't excite me much, because there is something magical on this bridge. These are holes!!! Small round holes through which you can look at the stormy river.
I haven’t understood until now the purpose of these holes, but they just fascinated me. It seemed to me that I was looking down through a telescope, and the Terek flows closer and faster. I can abstract myself from the holes for a while and see what new things got into the waterfall. Usually these is a couple of new balls.
Of course, now I know the history of this old bridge, I know how it changed. Occasionally arriving in Vladikavkaz, I always arrange the walking route so as to walk along the bridge of my childhood fantasies, and carefully, so that my companions would not notice, look at the Terek through the holes.
For me, this is the most emotionally attractive place in the city. The only thing that scares me is that someone might have an idea to upgrade and modernize it. I do not want.