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General Information

Other name(s): Tsar Nicholas I Suspension Bridge
Beginning of works: 30 August 1848
Completion: 28 September 1853
Status: demolished (10 June 1920)

Project Type


Location: ,
  • Dnepr River
Coordinates: 50° 26' 32" N    30° 33' 52" E
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Technical Information


total length 780.90 m
span lengths 68.58 m - 4 × 134.1 m - 68.58 m - 15.24 m
clearance ø 9.14 m
chains number of chains 4
deck width 16.00 m
suspended length 637.03 m
pylons pylon height (total) 34.14 m


cost of construction ca. Pound sterling 432 000


deck iron
piers stone
foundations concrete
chains iron
towers stone


November 1846

Invitation to tender.

12 December 1846
— March 1847

Charles Blacker Vignoles prepares his preliminary proposal and takes it to Saint Petersburg. The proposal is accepted by the Tsar.

March 1847
— June 1847

Working drawings are produced.

July 1847
— August 1847

Two-day site visit to Kiev followed by negotiations in Saint Petersburg to agree on the final design.

September 1847

Contract is signed.

October 1847
— March 1848

The necessary materials are procured. The iron work and machinery comes from the UK, granite and wood from Russia.

March 1848

Design check is carried out.

April 1848
— October 1848

Preparations on-site begin: working areas and construction camps are installed. An inclined plane is created, a temporary bridge and railway is built. Cofferdams are built and a cement plant is set up.

9 September 1848

First stone is laid.

November 1848

Works are damaged by ice floes. The site is closed down for winter.

March 1849
— April 1849

Ice floes damage the temporary bridge.

May 1849

The cofferdams are over-topped by spring floods. Dams 2 and 3 rise by 7 feet, dam 4 breaks up, dam 5 is scoured down by 10 to 15 feet. Some stone-filled barges are sunk on the remaining dams to hold them down.

May 1849
— September 1849

The cofferdams are rebuilt. 3 rings of piles are used instead of 2 and the timber length is increased to 56 feet.

September 1849

Concrete bases are completed for the pier and abutment foundations on the supports nearest to the shores (2 on the south, 1 on the right bank).

October 1849

Fascine mattresses are installed around the dams to protect the from scour.

November 1849

The site is closed down for winter.

May 1850
— November 1850

Concreting of foundations proceeds vers slowly. Pumps break down and dams leak. Foundations for the two northernmost suspension towers are completed.

May 1851
— November 1851

The roadway on the swing bridge is completed. The remaining three tower foundations are finished and their piers built up above flood level. The portals on the two northernmost towers are completed and the ropes are hung.

February 1852

The raising of the chains continues throught the winter.

May 1852

The portals are completed.

August 1852

The raising of the chains begins, but only one is completed by September.

April 1853

Chains are completed.

August 1853

The deck is completed.

30 September 1853

Test loading of the bridge. A test load of 3000 tons of wet sand is used.

10 October 1853



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