When the United States was a young nation, rivers aided travelers and commerce. They were important routes to move people and goods – either raw, natural resources or later on, manufactured products.
As time and technology moved along the rivers became obstacles as well as trails.
Highways could ford a small stream. If it wasn’t running in spring flood. But larger bodies of water needed bridges. Yes, bridges have been built for centuries. Some of the old, stone structures are beautiful as well as practical.
But a new, growing nation needed more and more bridges to move more and more products on railroads and highways. Cities grew along rivers and begged for connection to the other side. Boats and barges using the waterways demanded unimpeded passage.
My hat’s off to the engineers of the bridges in the USA. Working within all sorts of restraints of time, space, and resources they have managed to give us routes, and alternate routes, to pass safely from one side of the river to the other.