North Carolina’s Can Opener Bridge: this too-low North Carolina railroad trestle is still a notorious truck executioner

At the corner of Gregson and Peabody streets in Durham, North Carolina lies what at first glance appears to be an innocent railroad trestle – but this is no ordinary railroad trestle. It is sinister and cunning and will mercilessly scalp any vehicle too high and mighty for its own good. Well, most bridges in North Carolina have a 15-foot clearance (about 4,5 meters), but this was designed in the 1920s and built in 1940, and so it has a clearance of 11 feet 8 inches (3,6 meters). This architectural…

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Hillandale Bridge: the abandoned bridge to nowhere that stands secluded in the woods of a Cleveland suburb

Many people have had conversations about the “abandoned Hillandale bridge to nowhere” and some even have reach it, either with or without spray paint in hand. This 1920s construction that has stood the test of time lies perched atop a hill on an old brick road in Euclid, Ohio, near a city park of the same name. And now exists, not by chance, literally as a bridge to nowhere. Money was poured into a bridge that was built to allow car traffic to a development that promised “high grade homes”…

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Why an American bought the London Bridge

Born on this day, June 7 1761, Scottish civil engineer John Rennie was responsible for three important landmarks in central London: Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge and London Bridge which, in an astonishing deal, was sold (yes, really sold) to an American tycoon in 1968. “London Bridge is falling down, falling down!” This was a popular children’s rhyme despite in the 1960s it wasn’t really falling down. However, surveys showed that it was sinking by about 2.5cm every eight years and, as a result, It would have to be replaced. Ivan…

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Who wouldn’t want a highway bridge literally 50 centimeters from his window?

Few days ago, authorities in Cairo, Egypt, have come under fire for approving the construction of an “essential” highway bridge in Al-Haram district, right next to several apartment buildings on Nasr El-Din Street. And if we say “right next to”, we mean that in the most literal sense, as the bridge is just 50 centimetres away from people’s homes. However, in a surprising reply, authorities announced that the bridge had all the necessary permits, and that it was the residential buildings that had been built without a permit. Therefore, an…

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Lydia, the phantom hitchhiker of North Carolina

Phantom hitchhiker stories are not rare. Most entail someone driving on a road or highway when they come upon a person walking along side, flagging them down for a ride. A kind person might stop to get them a ride, only to discover the hitchhiker has disappeared. The Lydia’s story is no different. North Carolina has it share of ghost stories, unexplained phenomena, and tales of the supernatural. One such tale comes from Jamestown, in Guilford County. The legend begins in late December 1923 (the 23rd or 31st depending on…

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Sarah Ann Henley: the suicide girl who fluttered to safety

The beautiful England’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, originally designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, stands 101 metres above the River Avon and spans a 400-metre wide gorge. Located just outside the city of Bristol, it has been considered an engineering marvel ever since it was opened in 1864….but also a magnet for people wanting to commit suicide. And this is not an urban legend, because official figures reveal that there were 206 suicides from the bridge between 1974 and 2007, and the chances of survival for anyone taking…

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Grassy Point Railroad Bridge – Minnesota and its haunting army of decomposing stuffed animals

The Grassy Point Bridge was authorized by the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1887 to cross Saint Louis Bay at the shortest possible location. It was built by the Minneapolis and Duluth Railroad, which was later acquired by the Northern Pacific. The bridge allowed to move trains between their railroad lines on either side of the Twin Ports Harbor. The east end of the bridge connects to the BNSF 28th Street Terminal, and a massive maze of rail yards and side tracks (now mostly gone). The current iron and…

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Portland Troll Bridge – Oregon

There is a popular story, “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, in which three little goats are trying to get across a bridge, but a troll who lives underneath it threatens to eat them up. They trick him to cross, and all ends well (for the goats, at least). Now that you’re all grown up, you know that trolls don’t really live under bridges. But there’s one bridge in Oregon where trolls actually do live…and it’s really pretty charming! The reason (or the reasons) why trolls began to appear under a bridge…

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Fremont Troll – Seattle

A five and a half meters tall troll, made of cement lives underneath an overpass in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. With only half of its torso showing, the concrete statue appears to be emerging from the ground. Its lone eye, once a hubcap, stares down the tunnel, while its left hand clutches a car that strayed too close. The car is an actual Volkswagen Beetle encased in concrete, which was red and bear a California license plate. The Troll was constructed in 1990 after winning a Fremont Arts Council competition for…

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The Øresund Bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark and dives into the sea

The Øresund strait separates Sweden from Denmark, and the bridge linking the two nations is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that has few equals in the world. The two connected cities are Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the Swedish city of Malmö. The bridge, the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, runs nearly 8 kilometres from the Swedish coast to the artificial island Peberholm in the middle of the strait. The crossing is completed by the 4-kilometre Drogden Tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of…

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Suicides at Bloomfield Hills – Michigan

Bloomfield Hills is a quiet city located in Metro Detroit’s northern suburbs in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, about 32.5 km northwest of downtown Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,869. Nothing strange, that’s true? However, it seems that Bloomfield Hills has an odd tale to tell. Trowbridge Road is less than a mile long. It goes through a very well-to-do neighborhood, but empties out at one quite eerie place: the Trowbridge Bridge, built in 1930 during the beginning of The Great Depression.…

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Pavia’s Covered Bridge and the pact with the devil

The Covered Bridge on the Ticino river represents one of Pavia’s most symbolic monuments. It connect the historical centre of the city to the area known as Borgo Ticino, a pictoresque quarter which was once inhabited only by washerwomen, fishermen and boatmen. The current bridge was built between the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s of the twentieth century, following the destruction of the Medieval covered bridge gravely damaged by bombings of the Allied Forces during World War II. The old bridge, of which the new…

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Street artist Megx painted german bridge to look like giant LEGO Bricks

While driving through the outskirts of Wuppertal in the Rhine-Rhur metropolitan region of Germany, drivers are wont to stare in disbelief the a giant multicolored cluster of Legos hovers from a bridge overhead. Although the visual effect is exactly this, in reality the bridge is (obviously) made of concrete and steel. These Legos are actually the product of more than a century of locomotive history: the Wuppertal Northern Railway was constructed in 1879 to compete with the adjacent BME line for train passengers crossing through Wuppertal, Germany. But the BME…

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