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12 astounding aqueducts

By: Matt Hickman on July 22, 2015, 11:21 a.m.
Aqueduct Ringvaart Haarlemmermeer in the Netherlands

Photo: Rijkswaterstaat/Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment

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Aqueduct Ringvaart Haarlemmermeer

In a low-lying nation best known for tolerance, tulips and a time-honored tradition of manipulating the movement of water, you'd better believe the Netherlands has a doozy of an aqueduct.

However, it may come as a bit of a surprise that, in a country with such a knack for water engineering, the first aqueduct in the Netherlands wasn't completed until 1961 in the form of a water bridge carrying the circular Ringvaart Canal over both the A4 Motorway and an adjacent high-speed rail line. The whole concept seems completely improbable, fantastical even, if you think about it — just imagine zipping along on a highway through the countryside as a large river barge also chugs along directly above you. There have been several similar highway-spanning water bridges built across the Netherlands along the Ringvaart and other canals in recent decades including the world’s first so-called "naviduct," a navigable aqueduct/lock hybrid completed in 2003 near the harbor town of Enkhuizen in North Holland. This time-lapse video gives a decent glimpse of this impressive feat of engineering in action.