Construction date:\r\n1945\r\n\r\n\r\nLocation:\r\nAlmen, Netherlands\r\nPredicted life of coating:\r\n100 years\r\n\r\n \r\nPhotographs taken twenty five years ago of the Ehzer Bridge over the Twente canal in Almen, reinforce the reputation of the performance of a galvanized coating. Originally erected quickly by Canadian troops in 1945, in support of the liberation of the Netherlands, the structure is still sound today. It represents a landmark erection for the Dutch galvanizing industry, despite not being unique in design.\r\n\r\nNamed after the 13th century country estate, De Ehze, the bridge forms part of a small local road from Almen to Laren and is still being used by local traffic. Although it is just wide enough to allow two cars to pass simultaneously, today it is used predominantly by cyclists and pedestrians, as nearby bridges now take the heavier urban traffic.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nVisual inspection\r\n\r\nOn a revisit to the bridge, technical staff at the Dutch Galvanizers Association (SDV) were struck by its appearance.\r\n\r\nThe bridge\u2019s general appearance is characteristically dull grey with some minimal light brown surface staining. It was noted that some remedial work has been done in the vicinity of the bolted connections and over the course of time youngsters and their spray cans have added their contribution to the appearance of the bridge also.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMost importantly the steel itself has not been affected anywhere, despite a higher level of sulphurous pollution in earlier years. Today, the low sulphur dioxide content of the local atmosphere means that predictions on anticipated lifespan can be extended several times over what was initially foreseen upon installation.\r\n\r\nRemaining coating thickness\r\n\r\nCoating thickness have been electromagnetically determined in a number of randomly selected areas with an average of 10 readings taken every time. At three diagonal bracing sections (150 x 150 mm) coating thickness of 74 \u00b5m, 115 \u00b5m and 219 \u00b5m were found.\r\n\r\nAt two other diagonal sections (130 x 130 mm) 69 \u00b5m and 82 \u00b5m were found. Two connecting plates were found to have 114 \u00b5m (19 mm steel thickness) and 86 \u00b5m (9 mm steel thickness) of coating remaining. In comparison with the thicknesses of the galvanizing reported in the previous inspection there is no significant reduction of the coating.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFuture for the bridge\r\n\r\nThese readings indicate that the Ehzer Bridge over the Twente canal at Almen is clearly able to make it to 100 years. Whether the bridge will actually last that long depends however on other factors.\r\n\r\nWill the road where the bridge is located remain a quiet local road or will heavier traffic need to pass over it in due course? Or could the use of the canal change and require a change in bridgespan? Whatever happens, if it is left alone the Ehzer Bridge will remain to witness the changes.