Il Ponte della Becca
Il Ponte della Becca (in Italian) or The Becca bridge is a bridge in the province of Pavia, built between 1910 and 1912 on the confluence of the rivers Ticino and Po. Partially destroyed by bombing during the Second World War in 1944, it was restored in the damaged parts and reopened to traffic in 1950.
The bridge has a tubular structure with reticular walls with double diagonals. It is the largest iron structure in the world after the Eiffel Tower. The road that crosses it is the Strada statale 617 Bronese, which runs between Broni and Pavia. It is 1.081 km long in total.
The need to transport to Pavia and the rest of Lombardy the grapes coming from Oltrepò Pavese had created in the place where the bridge currently stands first a system of ferries and then a bridge of boats, but the bridges of boats were inadequate to ensure the passage during the floods of the two major rivers, which every two or three years occurred during the period of trade of grapes. The final project of the engineer Jules Röthlisberger dates back to 1909 and in 1910 began the works that were completed in 1912; the inauguration of the work took place on July 7, 1912 in the presence of Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, Count of Turin and cousin of the king.
At the end of the Pavia side of the bridge was built, since the 1990s, a summer tourist complex whose purpose is the development of river navigation. Because of the frequent overflows of the two rivers, which often completely submerge the area during the cold season, the only activity allowed at the base of the river is precisely that based on navigation. Moreover, the two rivers are not swimmable, because of the whirlpools that tend to form just near the bridge plinths and the water pollution