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The Northwest Railway Company of Brazil and the bridge over the Paraguay river

Grant number: 10/15512-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2010
Effective date (End): November 30, 2011
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Nilson Ghirardello
Grantee:Matheus de Paula D'Almeida
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


The project consists of a case study on the most important masterpieces of the Railroad Northwest Brazil (EFNOB), the bridge over the Paraguay River, located in the current state of Mato Grosso do Sul, which has led, through many difficulties , the desired meeting of the Bolivian Brazilian railway network, known thereafter as the international bridge. Built in the mid-1930s during an extended period because a number of difficulties brought about by frequent floods, was the largest concrete construction in the time since this work of art crossing over two kilometers to go between the line of Porto Esperança the line Corumbá - Bolivia. In contrast to the initial deployment of EFNOB (which took place in a precarious way), this work of art was elaborately designed, using domestic raw materials, unlike what occurred thus far, as the bridge over the Parana River in the same NOB, which divides the current Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo, all iron imported from United States of America. We believe that the bridge over the Paraguay River represents a moment of creation and nationalization of industry promoted in the government of Getulio Vargas. It is intended to study the impact of such construction, taking into account the historical context, political and economic, analyzing the materials and construction techniques employed in order to expose its great architectural and historical value, because of its great importance not only for transportation Brazilian railway, but as for building the country and as strategic military and trade route. To get idea of its value it is being ground by tipping IPHAN, along with the proposal for its restoration. The research will be developed on the basis of historical sources and documents related to the bridge, annual reports NOB; by analyzing the original plans and the process of inspection and monitoring of its construction (since these data are in files of the railways Bauru, where the project will be developed) and a site visit it. How to work beyond this, there is another project developed by fellow candidate Lucas Vinicius Lopes Albano examining the bridge over the Parana River which also has great importance in the path of Northwest Brazil, comparisons between them will be made to indicate the different priorities of each period and how the respective governments have treated these works. This research will be directed by Prof. Dr. Nilson Ghirardelli, author of several works on railroads and in particular addressing the Railroad Northwest Brazil, called: The Big Line Urban Formations of Northwestern São Paulo Editora UNESP. São Paulo, 2001. The research is still linked to the Research Project: Memory Train (Sao Paulo, 1868-1971), a research project submitted to FAPESP (2009-2011) whose purpose is expressed in the survey and inventory of documentary heritage railway in the interior (case in .: 2009/53058-0).

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