Odessa bridges: Stroganov bridge
The story of Stroganov Bridge – the longest bridge in the 19th century, its length was determined at 120 meters, and it was thrown over two slopes: Polsky and Levashevsky (now Devolanovsky).
The closest bridge to the port is Stroganovsky. It is thrown over the Karantinnaya gully along Grecheskaya Street (overlooking the Polsky and Devolanovsky descent). Named after the Russian Governor-General, the President of the Odessa Society of History and Antiquities, one of the initiators of the creation of Novorossiysk University, a participant in the war of 1812 and the first honorary citizen of Odessa, Count Stroganov.
Projects of the bridge across the Quarantine Beam were sent from Odessa to St. Petersburg since the early 1840s. But then, in 1851, the project of the bridge, drawn up by a young specialist, the future academician of architecture Karl Mayevsky, was sent to Odessa.
Mayevsky has been building the bridge for a long decade. During this time, only a part of the bridge over the Polish descent was built. The most difficult high part above the Levashovsky (now – Devolanovsky) descent was not even started. In 1862, the city invited the Odessa architect Felix Gonsiorovsky, and he completed this long-term construction in one year.
The bridge consisted of two parts: a three-arch bridge over the Polish descent and a two-arch bridge over the Levashovsky descent. The bridge was approximately 120 meters long and over 13 meters high (in the highest part). Three bridges to be precise. A small walkway connected the bridge itself with the third floor of the house of the clergyman of the Polish church. In this house (9 Polsky Spusk St.), pilgrims used to gather at holy places in Palestine and, in addition, there was a small almshouse. Small apartments were located on each floor along a wide corridor. At the end of the third floor there was an exit to the bridge, and on the first – an exit to the courtyard.
Till the 1920 the bridge mastered the electric tram. The tram was launched on the bridge in 1911 and it’s believed that for several decades, the load and groundwater shook the bridge of short-lived shell rock.
In the 80s of the XX century, the city authorities decided to dismantle this bridge, supposedly decrepit, and build a new one. The protests of the specialists, who argued that the existing structure is strong enough and after restoration will serve for many more years, were not taken into account. This architectural monument was dismantled for a very long time and with great difficulties, and in its place in 1985 a single reinforced concrete, rather clumsy bridge was assembled.
The new bridge has become longer than the old one by about two meters and wider by one and a half meters. In addition, he became taller by half a meter. They forgot to restore the small bridge to the house; the reconstruction of the bridge was not designed by citizens of Odessa.
Now from the old Stroganovsky bridge there was only a cast fence and a piece of span on one side of Devolanovsky descent. This fence did not appear on the old Stroganov bridge at once. And here it should be remembered that for some time (before the installation of the fence) the Stroganov Bridge had another, unofficial and rather gloomy name: “Suicide Bridge”. The marble slab, mounted in one of the parapets at the entrance to the old bridge, has also disappeared. It bore the name of the person after whom the bridge was named.