|Paris has 37 bridges spaning the Seine, but let ' s take a look at the Pont des Arts, which was also niknamed the Passerelle des Arts. This bridge was build in 1804. At the same time, the Louvre Museum was renamed the Napoleon Museum and then, under the First Empire, it became the Musée des Arts. The later name will be given to this new bridge, which is in reality only a 155-metre long and 10-metre wide footbridge, linking the Institut de France directly to the Cour Carrée du Louvre. The idea of creating this ' floating passageway ' as a hanging garden with shubs, flower boxes and benches came from enginers Louis-Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Dillon. Unfortunately, this project will never see the light of day. Nevertheless, the construction of the bridge took three years, between 1801 and 1804. It was the first metal bridge in Paris, made of cast iron with nine arches. Today, however, the Pont des Arts has only seven arches. Indeed, the river accidents caused by its piers being too close together forced the authorities to rebuild it completly in 1984, while respecting the general design of the previous structure.
Until the 20th century, the bridge did not experience any major incidents. Though, in 1976, the inspector general of the Civil engineering pointed out and informed the authorities of the fragility of the structure, mainly as a result of the bombings of 1918 and 1944 and several boat collision in 1961 and 1970. As a result, the bridge was closed to trafic in 1977 and colapsed over 60 metres in 1979 in a final shock with a barge.
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