A Bridge Boats Go OVER!

The Incredible Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal , and allows ships to cross over the Elbe River . At 918 meters, it is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.

The Elbe-Havel and Mittelland canals had previously met near Magdeburg but on opposite sides of the Elbe . Ships moving between the two had to make a 12-kilometer detour, descending from the Mittelland Canal through the Rothensee boat lift into the Elbe, then sailing downstream on the river, before entering the Elbe-Havel Canal through Niegripp lock. Low water levels in the Elbe often prevented fully laden canal barges from making this crossing, requiring time-consuming off-loading of cargo.

Construction of the water link was started in the 1930s but World War II and a divided Germany prevented further work until 1997. The aqueduct was finally completed and opened to the public in 2003.