Day 127/365 of Steel – Maurzyce Bridge

Inauguration of the Maurzyce Bridge (13 August 1929)

The Maurzyce Bridge over the Słudwia River in Central Poland is the first entirely welded road bridge and the second welded bridge of any category in the world. The bridge was designed in 1927 by Stefan Bryła, one of the pioneers of welding in civil engineering. Bryła, a professor at the Lwów University of Technology, conducted extensive theoretical studies on possible usage of welded steel joints in construction, as well as various aspects of oxy-fuel welding and electric arc welding. The then-new technique of arc welding allowed considerable weight savings: its overall weight is 56 metric tons, while a riveted version would have weighed over 70 tons.

The Maurzyce Bridge over the Słudwia River in Central Poland
Fig 1: The Maurzyce Bridge over the Słudwia River in Central Poland
Image: M Z Wojalski 

Apart from construction method, the construction itself is an ordinary truss bridge with two main truss beams, a straight bottom chord and a parabolic top chord. Despite welding being much more expensive than time-consuming riveting, the overall bridge cost was much lower, in large part due to 17% less steel needed to build it and shorter construction time.

In 2011 a memorial plaque to professor Bryła was unveiled in front of it. During World War II, Stefan Bryla prepared a ten-year plan for the economic recovery of Poland from war damage. He remained an active academic teacher as the dean of the secret Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology. As a result of the denunciation of one of his students, on November 16, 1943, he was arrested with his family and shot on December 3 at the intersection of Pulawska and Goworka Streets in Warsaw. The corpses taken by the Germans were never found. His symbolic grave is located at the Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw.

The Maurzyce Bridge
Fig 3: The Maurzyce Bridge
Image: © Marek and Ewa Wojciechowscy / Trips over Poland

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

You May Also Like

Day 19/365 of Steel – The Gherkin

On the 28th of April 2004, The Gherkin was officially inaugurated. Norman Foster (architect) and Ove Arup (engineering) created a true masterpiece in skyscraper engineering. The Gherkin is an example…
Read More

Day 2/365 of Steel – Roy Hofheinz

Roy Hofheinz was born on the 10th of april 1912. As co-owner of HSA (Houston Sports Association) he was the driving force behind the construction of the famous Astrodome. The…
Read More

Day 29/365 of Steel – Menashe Kadishman

Menashe Kadishman (21/8/1932 – 8/5/2015) I discovered Kadishman’s work during our visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.The Memory Void, one of the symbolic spaces on the ground level of…
Read More