Last Updated on 2021-01-01 by Birk Karsten Ecke
The connection of the districts to the right and left banks of the Daugava in Rīgā has always been economically important. In the past, a pontoon bridge connected the east and west of the city. There was also the Zemgale Bridge, which was designed as a combined rail and pedestrian bridge. The Zemgale Bridge was destroyed in 1944. Therefore, in Soviet times, from 1951, the planning of a new road bridge over the Daugava, today’s Akmens tilts – stone bridge. This bridge followed the course of the pontoon bridge from the old town to the Torņakalns district.
Construction of the bridge began in 1955 when Latvia was part of the Soviet Union. However, the bridge in Möskau was planned and constructed by an institute specializing in steel construction. In fact, the supporting structure of the bridge is not made of stone, but of steel. The bridge is supported by eight steel girders with a height between 1.8 and 2.4 meters, which are supported on piers of reinforced concrete. These are clad with stones. The road section is made of reinforced concrete and 180 mm thick.
The bridge was inaugurated as the October Bridge in July 1957. It was not until 1992, after Latvia gained independence from the Soviet Union, that the bridge was renamed Akmens tilts – stone bridge. For the 1950s, the bridge was planned generously and in line with the future. It has two tram routes, two lanes in each direction and two sidewalks, each 3.5 meters wide. The length of the bridge is 503 meters. Originally it was also envisaged that the bridge section on the old town side could be raised to enable ships to pass through. That was not implemented.