Netherland's Moses Bridge Parts Waters

Crossing the Moses Bridge

Way back in the 17th century, a bunch of enterprising Dutch warriors created a whole network of moats and bridges to help fend off invasion from some of their more aggressive neighbors to the south. Luckily, the Netherlands have buddied up with Spain and France, so it doesn’t look like there’s going to be an invasion anytime soon.

While the hostilities have vanished, the moats remain. Peaceful Dutch pedestrians of the 21st century are more interested in crossing these moats than using them defensively. To solve this problem, architects have developed the appropriately named Moses Bridge.

The Moses Bridge is actually quite beautiful

According to the famous story of Exodus, Moses parted the Red Sea so that his people could safely escape persecution from the Egyptians. The designers of this bridge borrowed from that Biblical tale, creating a semi-underwater bridge that literally parts the waters.

From afar, the bridge is nearly invisible, as the walls of the bridge are so low that they are nearly flush with the still water. As pedestrians near the bridge, however, the pathway becomes more obvious. A set of stairs cut into the steep hills lead down to the bottom of the moat, which brings pedestrians nearly eye-level with the surface of the water. The bridge is specially designed to be water resistant. The bridge is made from Accoya, a particular type of decking wood that prevents fungal growth and decay.

Near the surface of the water at the Moses Bridge

While the bridge is definitely cool, the first question that immediately pops into the mind of all architects is, “How do they deal with changes in water levels?” After a rain, it seems like the surrounding lake would spill into bridge. And even if the water level miraculously stayed where it was, draining rain water out of the bridge itself would be tricky. It’s a great design, I just wonder how well it withstands certain weather conditions.

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