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The Gisclard Bridges, precursors of the large stayed girder bridges
2nd part   -   Michel Wagner

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Then were built:                  Dormans - Marne - (range of 61m -08/1918)
Pontoise- Val d'Oise 
(range of 82.30m - 09/1918)
_Aisne - (range of 80 m - 09/1918)
Attigny/Aisne -Ardennes - (range of 69.20m05 -1919)
- Ardennes - (range of 71 m- 05/1919)
(range of 71.50 m-12/1919)
( Sce : D. Leinekugel  Le Cocq)

 Bridge at Dormans  - Old postcard
s  (Coll. M.W.)










Pontoise' Bridge

Pommiers'bridge  old poscard
(Coll. M.W.)















 The Attigny bridge
 old postcards  
(Coll. M.W.)



Bridge at "Braux ", over the Meuse river - Ardennes, old postcards

Bridge atCumières - old poscard (Coll. M.W.)

Construction of the Bridge at Cumières: "Blondin" in action (suspended trolley used for the construction=)
Picture-card- (Coll. V.Tranchant)

Construction of the Bridge at Cumières  (Coll. V.Tranchant)

In 1921, in Précy on Oise, a bridge gisclard is built  to replace a suspension bridge destroyed during the First World War (carried 61.74m). Destroyed during the Second World War, it will be rebuilt in 1941 with a reinforced concrete deck.  The Arnodin establishments will modify it in 1974 by adding parabolic farms and steel stiffening girders to him.(  Sce : D. Leinekugel  Le Cocq)

Bridge at Précy sur Oise- old postcard
(Coll. M.W.)










In 1923, the 7th Engineering corps builds in two months a bridge in the Polygon of Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon become a test center of assembly). This construction is told in the Magazine Of the Military engineering of July-December, 1923 (volume LIII)

Soldiers' battalion of the 7th Engineering in front of the bridge under construction- Picture-cardS  (coll. M.W.)

Reception of the bridge -  Picture - card from 1923  (coll. M.W.)

Old poscard sent in 1928( coll. M.W.)

Will follow then in 1924, the bridge of Baronia, bench  to the power station of Camarosa, near Barcelona Spain (opening 55.34m)

The bridge of Baronia  and the bridge at Révin
photographies , - coll D.Leinekugel Le Cocq








The bridge of Baronia nowadays ( Photo Robert - Flickr)

And the same year the rebuilding  of the suspension bridge of Revin - (the Ardennes)
Revin -Ardennes, old postcards
(Coll. M.W.)

The bridge at Lezardrieux-
This bridge located on Trieux
 (Cotes d'Armor) is interesting in more than one way.  The current bridge was designed and built on contest by Gaston Leinekugel Le Cocq in 1924   to support the metric gauge track of the railroads of the Coasts of North, to replace a suspension bridge built in 1840 by the company of the Seguin  brothers , then repaired , and his wiring replaced by Arnodin between 1882 and 1889; the apron measured 151 m then.
It is the Company installed per G Leinekugel Le Cocq with Larche which will be in charge of work.

Old postcard, the suspension bridge of Lezardrieux with the system of Arnodin suspension
(Coll. M.W.)





Elevation ofthe bridge suspension according to the model Arnodin and Projet built by Gaston Leinekugel LeCocq

 The innovation of G Leinekugel LeCocq in this   modified version of a bridge of the Gisclard type lies in the vertical provision of the system of anchoring of the cables:
"the particular characteristic of this new rigid suspended Cantilever, lies in the fact that the cables of the inferior members of the triangulated farms of the Gisclard type are removed: they are deck trusses  of the  which play here, economically the role of inferior member of the farms of suspension. Like another characteristic of this type of work, the oblique  standing ropes of the axial span come  to be fixed on pins of articulation especially envisaged for this purpose at the ends of the deck on the bearing . Standing ropes take  the reaction of their vertical component at the base of the pillar of the abutment... "

 (Sce: Didier Leinekugel LeCocq)

 Pictures coming from n°2238 -january 1925- of the french review "Le Genie Civil"  ,
text &photos by Gaston Leinekugel Le Cocq

Two piles are added supporting metal pylons, the span of the roadway  thus passing of 150 with 112m.
The construction of the new structure was made ​​from the old.

Old postcard and modern postcard, current state of the bridge (Ed Vacances-Paris 9e) (coll M.W.)

The bridge will be transformed thereafter into road bridge and will be restored in 1993; it is always in service.

Postal cancel (Flame)

Modern postcard and postal flame: it should be noted that on the latter is not reproduced the cabling system of a bridge gisclard but that of a traditional suspension bridge...(coll M.W.)


Lezardrieux  modern postcard ( Ed Dubray-27-Conches (coll M.W.)



    Photography (18.07.05 - M. Wagner)


In 1924 will be set up a bridge  with Saint Leu d' Esserent in Oise, of a range of 77.70, will be replaced in 1949 by a suspension bridge with parabolic suspension.
 Another is built on contest with Lumes in the Ardennes in 1925 (span 75.60m)

   Bridge of  Lumes-  Old postcards ( coll. M.W.)

The bridge "El Colgante" of Santa Fé - Argentina
The history of this bridge, the " bridge of the Engineer Martial Candoti " is confidentially connected to that of the city of Santa Fé a particular symbol of which it became since 1903. Real barometer of the whims of the Rio Parana, it collapsed four times and four times was reconstructed. Placed at the end of the lagoon Setubal, this road bridge also served as aqueduct in its various versions.

 Photograph air and plane, document of the site of the government of Santa Fé

(Ministerio de Hacienda y Finanzas -
Unidad Ejecutora Provincial (U.E.P.))

The bridge in the course of assembly, photograph of the 28/11/1924
oll. D. Leinekugel LeCocq)

  In 1922 after the destruction by a floods of a bridge in the course of construction, engineer Martial R. Candioti, person in charge for the sanitary works of the Nation entrusted to the engineer A. Paitovi the study of a possible establishment of a
Gislard type bridge.  A contest was launched and it was a French company which obtained the market for all the metallic part, the "Chantiers et Ateliers de la Gironde", probably subcontractor entreprise of G.LeinekugelLe Cocq. Indeed ", in 1924 Ferdinand Arnodin dies, his son-in-law, Gaston Leinekugel-le-Cocq, who married his daughter Aline, leaves settling down to Larche, next to Brive-la-Gaillarde, in an existing factory. He moves the wire-stranding machine and takes archives. From this moment all the bridge Arnodin-Leinekugel goes out of Larche, the factory of Châteauneuf is sold. " (source: J.M.Hervé )
Old postcard ( coll. M.W.)

All the armature was realized in France then directly forwarded by boat until Santa Fé to to be raised there.The tests of resistance took place on April 28th, 1928 and the starting on June 8th. The bridge ihas three spans, 73.85, 147.70 and 73.85 m.. It supported the second biggest flood from the century to 1966, and,  in 1971, an aqueduct was re-incorporated into the bridge; but this one collapsed partially in 1983.

Photography -1938

A new international call  tender  was launched to rebuild a bridge similar to the precedent with the same system of anchoring and of wiring  This one was completed in 2004.

 Two stamps were issued in Argentina showing the bridge  , the first  on October 16th  1982 on the occasion of the Games " "Cross of the South ",the bridge being used as visual symbol of the city, the second on April 17th, 2004 to commemorate its reconstruction.
Yt n°1323 of 1982
  Yt n° 2445 of 2004 (coll. M.W.)


In 1925  a bridge intended for Siam is built with a span  of 82.50 m,   then, a second in 1926 (span of 122.50 m)

  Tests of assembly of the bridge intended for Siam
photograph of time
coll D Leinekugel LeCocq




 In 1927 a bridge is built on the small Rhone, the bridge of Chartrouse, property of Mrs. Senty-Lavigne, 1 span of 88.50m
 This bridge will be modified then rebuilt by Freyssinet engineering with an innovation on the cables...
Picture D.Bounias, City of Arles - Bouches du Rhône
 The same year, on contest is built again the bridge of Boran in the Oise (carried 69.59m) which will have to be rebuilt in a provisional way en1941-42 using three elements of Pigeaud bridges. It will be transformed in 1975 into parabolic suspension bridge.
The bridge of Boran 1927 /1940 -Old postcards (coll. M.W.)

 The bridge of Boran in its third state (1940-1975)  -
postcards (coll. M.W.)


The bridge connecting Vitry and Alfortville called the Bridge of the "Port à l'Anglais" was undertaken on contest  since 1913. Stopped by the war of 1914-18, its work lasted until 1927. It consists of three spans of 57.05, 129.96 and 58.25m, in more of those directly inspired by the Gisclard system, of the cables connects  between them the two monumental pylons.

The first project was replaced by a second, the steel towers that have been deemed unsightly porches were replaced by masonry more "traditional"



This project type Gisclard offered the major advantage of being one of the least expensive and also allowed the one hand a reduction of metal weight while maintaining rigidity of the assembly.
Its construction system using the use of a "download" ("Blondin"), also allowed not to interrupt the navigation on the Seine.
The bridge of 244m consists of three spans, of 57.05, 129.96 and 58.25m.
Interrupted by the war of 1914-18, his work lasted until 1927.

Many time altered, then repaired the bridge is always in service.







 Construction of the bridge - Photos from a booklet - "Arnodin fund"

  Bridge of Vitry/Alfortville, old postcard
(Coll. M.W.)

Stamp day letter from 1942

Bridge of Vitry ; postal stationery c-1995 (coll. M.W.)

Postal stationery c-1998 (coll. M.W.)

Old postcards (coll. M.W.)

 Alfortville: cancellations secap of 1991and 1999, showing  the diagram of the bridge(coll. M.W.)



Two bridges finally were built in Syria,
 the first in 1928, in Souvar on Khabour
span 52,50 m) , tnen at Deir-Ez-Zor in 1929.



 The bridge of Souvar in Syria, photographies , (coll D. Leinekugel Cocq)











  the bridge of Deir - Ez - Zor, This narrow footbridge was built by French on competition between 1927 and 1929 above the Euphrates, it, essentially for military reasons, the city accommodating then an advanced post of the "foreign legion. For the disturbed period, when, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the will of independence of the nationalists, the installation of the French mandate over the "Great Lebanon", and the takeover of Vichy in 1940. Syria emitted in this period a set of seven stamps dedicated to this bridge.This one became then a stake in the battles which acted in this period during the second world war: French would have tried to blow up it, but unsuccessfully during the fights which set Supporters of the Vichy government and Free French Forces allied to the British. n spite of the victory of these last ones and the declaration of independence of Syria, this one will be effective only in 1946 with the definitive departure of the French troops. The intact bridge could be considered from then by the Syrian as a symbol of their access to the independence....

Old poscard (coll. M.W.)
and photography 'P.Cowsert 2009

It is the last and longest(?) bridge of the Gisclard type built under this licence. Constituted of five spans,  three of 112.50 m and two of 34.62 at the ends,  It is always upright, but is used more only for one pedestrian use.

Set of stamps from Syria YTn°A87 /A93 of 1940 + color proof (coll. M.W.)

 1944: cover, from Damas to Alger  (coll. M.W.)

Other projects began,et  were not finished, often following conflicts; much was not born...  So the bridge of Port StJean - Port St Hubert over the Rance river, under construction before the war of 1914, who was reconstructed in suspension bridge .
 Old postcard, The bridge under construction

Little was celebrated with their right value, and their designers  too often wrongfully forgotten  . I want to pay homage here to them.

I dedicate this article to Didier LEINEKUGEL LE COCQ, grandson of Gaston Leinekugel Le Cocq, great grandson of Ferdinand Arnodin, died on October 30th, 2009, at the age of 67, without the help of which I would never have been able to draft this article.

Bibliographical sources -

-"De Fer et de  Rève" catalogues, exhibition of the Museum of the Navy of the Loire, Châteauneuf on the Loire.
- Marcel PRADE: "Ponts et Viaducs au XIXe siècle"- Brissaud Poitiers / Errance
- Serge Montens: "most beautiful bridges of France" ED Bonneton - 2001
- Files and documents pleasantly provided by Didier Leinekugel  Le Cocq,
- Files and documents pleasantly provided by Didier Chénot ("Arnodin Fund"
- "Le Génie Civil"- Revue  1900>>1932...
                                                                                                          2005/2009  -  Michel Wagner