The bridges of Saint-Martin
Historic site and monument Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche
A first stonebridge has been opened in 1895. It was 164, 6m long with 5 rows, a road of 4,50m and a sidewalk of 0,50m. It has been destroyed by a flood in september 1900. The suspension bridge is from 1905. It is 163m long and has a road of 3,30m.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the baron of Aiguèze, Antoine du Roure, had the idea to apply for the construction of a bridge to make the crossing of the river easier. But the states of Languedoc refused, because they considered it more reasonable to construct a bridge in the valley between Saint-Just and Pont-Saint-Esprit (today: Pont Cassé).
On low water, it was possible to cross the river by a ford (in Bourian or Moulin).
In cases of light high-tide, one could cross by a boat in Bêche.
But in cases of extreme high-tides it was necessary to take a detour over the bridge in Saint-Just.
A ferry for passenger transport has been installed in Sablas.
Until the end of the 19th century a boat served for the transport of cattle and carts.
1887: The necessity of a bridge is growing, because the population and its needs are growing.
On the mayor's initiative the district council votes for a loan of 20 000fr to finance a bridge.
The charges increase: further loans, purchases of plots,...
Start of the work: september 13 1890.
On September 21 a flood destroys the started works and all of the marterial.
Additional expenses for the municipality: compensation for the employer, search for replacement and substitution.
The municipality received subventions of the nearby communities.
1893: Opening of the new building site by M. Lavigne.
May 1894: Again a flood, further damages
1895: The bridge is finished and inaugurated on April 15 1895. It is 164,6m long with a road of 4,50m and a pathway of 50cm. 5 frames, 4 pillars and 2 counter bearings. Two carts can cross it.
Predicted lifetime: 3 years.
September 29 1900: a nightly flood destroys the bridge during little hours. Less than 2 months later, the mayor convenes his council and informs about the two possibilities of a new construction with little costs. Either: transform the byroad into a secondary or a major road (department or state would bear the costs). Or: Receipt of a high subvention by the state.
During the waiting time the circulation between the river banks is interrupted.
The ferry is reinstalled in 1904.
1902: The community approves a project a project for a metal-bridge. New subventions are necessary.
1903: Start of the works.
End of 1905: Opening of the bridge (163m, road of 3,30m). It exists until today.
Quai des Pescadous
DD (decimal graduation)
latitude : 44.30074000
longitude : 4.56754000
All year round, daily.