Osten, a small community of less than 2,000 people near Cuxhaven in Lower Saxony, is separated from the nearby village of Hemmoor by the River Oste, a tributary of the Elbe. The rise and fall of the river caused by the North Sea tides made it difficult to construct a conventional bridge between the two communities, and in the early years of the twentieth century the authorities decided to build a transporter bridge following the pattern of that built at Portugalete near Bilbao by Alberto Palacio Elisagüe (1856-1931) in 1893. The bridge was opened in 1909. Its towers are 38 m. high and it consumed 286 tonnes of steel. The bridge was used until 1974 when the road that crossed it was by-passed by the new Federal Highway 495. In the same year it was declared an historical monument, and in 1975-76 the steelwork was sand-blasted and re-painted. A more comprehensive programme of conservation was completed in 2006. The bridge has become a popular tourist attraction.