1897: The Inauguration of a Bridge in Senegal

July 14, 1897

In West Africa, a road bridge in what is now the Republic of Senegal was officially opened. (At the time of the bridge’s debut, Senegal was a colonial territory of France.) This bridge, which was built across the Senegal River to connect the island and town of Saint-Louis with the mainland, replaced a bridge that had been in service in that vicinity since 1865.

Both of those bridges were named after Louis Léon César Faidherbe, who was the French colonial governor of Senegal between 1854 and 1861 and then again from 1863 to 1865. Architect and civil engineer Émile Nouguier designed the new Faidherbe Bridge and also oversaw its construction. (Nouguier’s other notable engineering achievements included helping to design the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.) The opening of the second Faidherbe Bridge took place with considerable fanfare, and the day’s festivities included both horse races and donkey races.

This version of Faidherbe Bridge remains in service today. It measures 1,665 feet (507.4 meters) in length and 34 feet (11 meters) in width.

Photo Credit: Manu25 (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

For more information on the present-day Faidherbe Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faidherbe_Bridge and https://structurae.net/en/structures/faidherbe-bridge

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