Updated: Jul 6
*You are here! It means that you came across the Hendrix motivational card and curiosity led you to our site. Here you can read everything about the Hendrix bridge - info, history, interesting things, but also the problem and dangers of risky behavior. This is a topic that we want to think about and write about and that we will systematically build on, so you can also get involved in creating it.
Do you have a card in your hand? Which quote does it say? Can you use it as a positive motivator in your everyday life? What is your link? Would you like to send us a selfie with the card? Or some new suggestions for communication with young people? Have an idea you want to share with us? Write to us at email@example.com
When I say Hendrix, the first association is that I speak about famous guitar player Jimi Hendrix. This story has some connection with famous guitarist.
When we talk about bridges, we are talking about bildings that connect coasts and people. They have primary political and social function but also an aesthetic value. Some stand out for their beauty, some for their size, and some for their interesting stories.
Railway bridges attract people the most because of their beauty and accessibility.
The official name of bridge is New railway bridge. The old single-trackrailway bridge was built in 1862. and was located a few meters upstream from the current one. It was the first railway bridge over the Sava. At that time, it was the largest and most complex building in Croatia. The new two-track bridge was built at the end of 1939.
Today there are 8 bridges on the main course of the river, and in the area of the city. Rail bridge is in the middle, close to all major roads and in a residential area. Close to public transport, sports and night clubs. A place full of people by day and night.
Type is arch bridge with famous Langer beam. Material is steel with buckles. Total length is 306 m, width 9 m, the largest span is 135 m. Traffic frequenc< is average 100 train per day.
The official name of bridge is New railway bridge. Because the second, old bridge was a few meters upstream. No one uses that name. I'm so sure no one know it at all. It is usually called the railway bridge, the green bridge because of its color or the Hendrix bridge after the famous graffiti. During the 1987 Universiade, some guy hanging from bridge, painted the name of his favorite guitarist for the first time.
He has no idea that his graffiti would mark the bridge for all time. Local goverment and Croatian Railways didn't like graffiti because "that was devastation" and they choose to move it. Repaint it. After few days they found it new graffiti on same place. And they repainted it again.
The constant painting graffiti on the bridge led to the fact that the name was finnaly recognized from local resident.
After few days, you can guess, graffiti was on same place. So local goverment start fight with graffiti artist and local community. They even hired security guard to keep bridge from the people but not to keep people from bridge. The initiative of the local community to rename name of bridge to Hendrix has been going on for 26 years.
That conflict between the local goverment and the community achieved a large number of walking and climbing on the bridge.
Apart from its beauty, Hendrix bridge also attracts risky behavior. The number of classic railway accidents is small, but the bridge is knowwn for suicides and challenges of young people. There is about 10 climbs per year, by individuals and by groups.
Access is simple. There is no fence. The path exists. A few steps are enough tobe on track near the bridge. There is a warning and prohibition sign, but it is destroyed.
Railways bridges are similar as all other bridges but also hide dangerous moments:
- there is no space for pedestrian
- train is wider than track
- there is electricity and it is big risk of electric shock
- bridge has buckles on base and it is not stable for walking
- when train come to bridge, it make vibration and it is big big risk to falling down.
In 2018 there was a fatal accident and near fence we can se a lantern lamp.
Young but not so smart
That short part of video show one of the worst examples risky behavior and you can find it on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjKTJhOgmBI
Risky behavior is not problem just for people who like challenges. Here is tesimony of train drivers who met group of children walking on the bridge. It was stressful situation for him. In last second he stopped train.
With the arrival of train no. 961 in front of the bridge, the train driver noticed a group of children walking on the bridge, which is why he immediately started braking. After the train stopped, a group of children moved away from the bridge. Train driver, after making sure that the track was passable, continued driving.
"The young man in the picture can celebrate his second birthday today, and he took two years of my life," said the train driver. (November 13, 2020)
There are no public statistics of extraordinary events or suicides from local goverment, railways or ministry of interior. There are only publications in the media and communication of the local community on social media that indicate risky behavior and casualties on the bridge.
When we make google search for the Hendrix bridge - we found a lot topics – connection between bridge and hendrix, to rename name, about climbing, walking, risks, tik tok challenges, accidents, fatals, suicide attempt, hendrix half marathon...
We found also safety angels (residents) who called police by every climbing or walking. Imagine that safety on bridge depend of empathy of some neighbour on balcony or woman in market near bridge.
A building with a special aura
Hendrix is building with special aura. It attracts almost everyone:
- It is part of a touristic tour
- It was sung in a song by the famous group Vatra, so the verse reads "on top of Hendrix's bridge…”
- Graffiti artists made a graffiti of hendrix bridge all around the city.
- It was photographed 1milion times, even to the point of danger.
- Under the bridge a sculptor made Waterman (Vodan) stone sculpture.
- Young artist created Hendrix jewelry.
- Famous brands made advertising.
- It is on the label of 2 local craft beers.
On the top of the bridge we found risky behavior. Track should be only for rail traffic but is not. There are always some curious exibitionist. Under the bridge is a lot of outdoor activity, sports and cultural events. The most famous are the Green River Festival and the Hendrix Half Marathon.
This is a key part of where and how it is possible to combine the attractiveness and special features of the hendrix bridge with the improvement of traffic safety and the reduction of risky behavior.
Vision zero approach recognizes errors in human behavior and seeks effective safety solutions. We in safety guru institute also recognize risky behavior on Hendrix bridge. We act before accidents happen.
Some of SGI solutions: under the bridge
- Information boards with qR code with rules of conduct and warning about the dangers of risky behavior
- New educative and promotional material for all residens, specially for youngs
- Cooperation with graffiti artists, new graffiti space on the walls under the bridges
- By painting the buckles, the bridge can return to its old glory
- Motivation cards / focus on healthy activities
- Through sport and with steps that make difference to the traffic and rail safety
This year we had lectures about the Hendrix bridge at 3 universities. We gave students educational flayers and motivation cards with some of Jimi Hendrix's best quotes. the essence of the card is that when you are faced with a challenge or negativity, you read a quote that positively motivates you, shifts the focus to what is important and sets out to solve the problem or challenge.
You can keep the card in your bag, wallet, give it to a friend or as a bookmark.
We also participated in the hendrix half marathon with our mascot octopus with attitude and with steps that make a difference!
Before we watch video from Hendrix half marathon event i just wanna say that music for all videos made our friend and member of SGI Mario Dautović. Thanx Mario!
Finally, I have one question for you. Do any of you run track? Your? What distances do you run? Please join us next year in the race and creating healthy and safe steps under the Hendrix bridge.
This year, we presented the story of Hendrix at the TRESPAD (Trespass & Suicide Prevention) event, as part of the 2023 ILCAD conference in Warsaw.
Text & Photo: SGI