The future connection to Niteroi
Revista da Semana – May 1929
The future connection to the neighboring capital has long been debated and defended in our press. In reality a direct communication to the city of Niterói would bring all kinds of advantages to the two capitals, in addition to the direct connection with the State of Rio.
The suggestions put forward for this enterprise by our most distinguished engineers have been several. Mr. Carlos Sampaio is in favor of the idea of the submarine tunnel, as it already exists in several American and European cities, with the most modern being the Holland Tunnel, between New York City and New Jersey. Others, like Mr. A. Graça, defend the idea of a bridge formed by successive arcs or else a suspension bridge, similar to those that the Yankees have executed in the United States. On this last hypothesis, the distinguished engineer-geologist Mr. Alfredo Diniz has just presented the results of his studies, predicting the possibility of such an undertaking.
This solution has the enormous advantage of neglecting obstructions (?) that would impede the free movement of our port. But who was it who devised the first bridge and which was the first one to be built? That’s the question that’s often asked.
Responding is difficult.
As is well known, the evolution of bridges has been very interesting. Everything leads us to believe that what inspired the first bridge was certainly the need that primitive man had to cross or transpose a ravine or a stream. From there, they have been disseminating and evolving.
Small bridges were succeeded by other more daring ones, either in arches or pillars, and later, even nowadays, large spaces have been overcome or reached by stupendous works, such as the Forth Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and ultimately the Delaware Bridge. The earliest of the latter type of the coming together of two banks is presumed to have been built in the year 65, in Yunnan Province, China, by order of the emperor Ming, and had the approximate length of 100 meters. Nowadays, metal bridges are often used, and James Finley should be considered as the true inventor of modern bridges, which are undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments of engineering.
These bridges, considered by many an American invention, have had a huge development in the United States, and are currently under construction on the Hudson, linking New York with New Jersey, a suspension bridge that, by its proportions, is considered the largest that has been planned.
They are surprisingly haughty and graceful and have the great advantage of not being destructive and, on the contrary, favoring the most beautiful perspectives of nature, as is the case for our Rio de Janeiro.
Also associated with this are the great constructive advantages over other types of bridges formed by a series of arcs. The engravings we present represent one of the suggestions made by notable architects Cortez & Bruhns, in their debated and remarkable plan for remodeling the capital, for the future connection to the neighboring capital.
From a perspective, one will see the majesty of this gigantic work, which would have, pillar the pillar, the length of 1 kilometer, having on the bay, in its central part, the height of 60 meters, in order to give passage to all types of transatlantic vessels or warships. This bridge would be endowed with two levels, the upper one destined to vehicles and pedestrians, and the lower one reserved only for electric transport; would overcome the distance between Ponte do Aterro and the one in Gragoatá, at a distance of approximately 2 kilometers, suspended in two huge arc-pillars, which should have a height never less than 200 meters.
How dazzling would it not be to enjoy the amazing panoramas of Guanabara and the incomparable cut of the Serra dos Orgões from the top of these arches!
Let us therefore make every wish for the rapid solution of this enterprise, for the century in which we live – the time of the most audacious conceptions – has given us the opportunity to verify the solution for problems that would have been considered true utopias years ago.