Crossing the River Seine by Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir on a cloudy, grey Friday.
Th bridge, linking Parc de Bercy and the National Library of France, is reserved for ‘transports doux’ or soft, which means feet, bikes, skateboards and all the other small, wheeled contraptions that Parisians use to get around the city.
It’s an ingenious structure that gives access to three different levels on each bank – quayside or road level either side, plus a higher level that crosses the roads to the park and the library.
The space between the two interlocking decks forms a sheltered viewing platform for river watching, or people watching on a sunny weekend.
Looking downstream from the centre point to double-decker Pont de Bercy. On that bridge the metro runs on the top deck with cars either side below and bikes down the middle.
Why the no entry signs at this point? The central section on the upper level ends with a steep flight of steps.
The main structure of the bridge was manufactured at the Eiffel steel works in Alsace. The central ‘lens’, over 100m long and weighing 650 tonnes, was transported to Paris on a barge via canals, the North Sea, the Channel and the River Seine itself. Apparently there were some difficulties with narrow locks on the way.