Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Le Pont

The bridge. It connects St.-Aignan with Noyers-sur-Cher to the north across the Cher River. The road continues northward through the Forêt de Gros Bois to the town of St.-Romain (another wine town), then up to Contres and on to Blois.

The St.-Aignan side of the bridge over the Cher.

The bridge crosses two branches of the river which are separated by an island. There is an actuated traffic signal on the island and a standard signal on the St.-Aignan side. The bridge is only two lanes wide but it still handles pedestrians, bicycles, cars, campers, and big rigs. It can be a tight squeeze from time to time.

This is the section where the former mill stood.

I always kid Ken that we need to head out early if we want to avoid "bridge traffic." Although I'm only half kidding... During the summer there is a lot of tourist traffic and the town turns the signal to flashing to keep traffic from backing up on the bridge. The downside of that is that cars on the river road have to yield, and the wait can be frustrating. But certainly never as frustrating as waiting at the SF Bay Bridge toll plaza.

A bridge pier on the island.

There has been talk of building a second bridge at St.-Aignan to handle the increasing summer time and truck traffic, but there is a debate about where to build it, and the current economic crisis has slowed things down. I really don't want to see a second bridge built. We don't need to accommodate vehicular traffic to that extent. There's my former career rearing it's ugly head!

Directional signs at the St.-Aignan traffic signal, which is flashing yellow giving the right of way to traffic coming off the bridge.


  1. Hi Walt
    Thanks for these beautiful pictures. Perhaps you could tell me what the traffic light with a red flashing + sign means, we don't have it here in the UK. The bar featured in your first picture today, I have been informed, is run by a nice guy called Philippe and apparently he keeps the place open very late at night. His Dutch mother is sometimes there to help and she is called Margo(yes, no t ).

  2. That first pont photo is especially stunning, with the blues above, and then reflected in the water. Delightful!

    Do you know how old this bridge is?


  3. Walt, that bridge photo is just gorgeous. What is it about the relationship between humans and bridges (and water) ? We just have to lean over and look at the river. Must be something fundamental in the human condition.
    (BTW, Ken has got me somewhat perturbed about the hyphen situation. To hyphen or not to hyphen, that is the question. I shall do a survey.)

  4. The first bridge picture just drew me in from my blog reader. I just love it. Great light and an excellent reflection.

  5. Did the Vikings ever come up this river back in the 800s?

  6. They are all great, but photo #1 is SPECTACULAR! Looking forward to meteor shower posts....

  7. veronica, those signals with the plus sign are to tell oncoming drivers what the opposite signal is doing. For example, you see a red plus sign, the drivers on the other side of that light see a solid red.

    judy, thanks! There has been a bridge at this point in the river since at least the 11th century. I don't know before that.

    jean, merci! The hyphen thing is an actual rule in French. I believe.

    marta, thanks!

    urspo, I forgot to answer your last question! Sorry! Yes, there are vestiges of Roman occupation all around us here. I don't know about vikings, though. They occupied Normandy to the north.

    cheryl, sorry, no meteor shower posts. I looked for hours and saw not a single meteor. :(

  8. I think the Vikings did come up this river in the 800s or 900s. Some monastic communities relocated upriver to stay out of their way.

  9. Fantastic photos, Walt!!

    I agree that SA doesn't need a new bridge.



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