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Design: Famous Bridges June 24, 2008

Posted by anagasto in building, history.
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There are only six main types of bridges :

  1. beam —
  2. cantilever —
  3. arch —
  4. suspension —
  5. cable-stayed —
  6. truss —

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Small_footbridge

Footbridge photographed by Quadell and published at en.wikipediahttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Small_footbridge.jpg under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Vallorcine_footpath_bridge_2003-12-13

Vallorcine footpath photo published at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vallorcine_footpath_bridge_2003-12-13.jpg by Klaus with K under CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

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The oldest designs are very simple : just take a beam or some stones and set them up………..

The step stone bridge of the photo below is part of a garden path in the Tea Garden of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It is a great photo. On the enlarged version you can almost hear the frogs and some goldfinches, too.

StepStoneBridge

The photo by Leonard G. is under a ShareAlike 1.0 License at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StepStoneBridge.jpg.
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Suspension:

The bridge that is world famous from songs, poetry, photos, and film:

golden gate under fog

The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Vista Point published under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_as_seen_from_Vista_Point,_light_fog.jpg by Cabe6403

The first proposal was published in 1916, but it took a long time to overcome opposition to its cost and size.

More problematic still, Wall Street collapsed and money became scarce in 1929.

Construction started in 1933  under three engineers: Joseph Strauss, Leon Moisseiff, and Charles Ellis. There were practically no accidents.

1280px-Golden_Gate_Bridge_Aerial

Above: The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA at sunset taken from the Marin Headlands and placed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license  by Sam916 at
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_Aerial.jpg

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Photographed by Bill Ebbesen published under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_SF_CA_North_View.jpg.

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This file by Mbz1 is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_Bridge_at_sunset_1.jpg

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Cable-stayed

Cable-stayed fan design : the cables holding the bridge deck converge onto a tower : Río Antirio across the gulf of Corinth in Greece.

Photographed by David Monniaux published under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rio_Antirio_dsc06216.jpg.    
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Floating bridge

pontoon_bridge_rhine_river_1945

Floating bridge supported by barges or caissons : the photo is from the US Army Corps of Engineers : the invasion of Germany across the Rhine river in WWII. http://www.150th.com/rivers/rhinepic.htm.

The same idea was used by the Greeks : when Xenophon had to take his soldiers across a river a shepherd showed them how to make caissons of  sheepskins filled with air.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: the photographer is unknown and the photo is in public domain
according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pontoon_bridge_Rhine_River_1945.jpg </spa

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Cable-stayed

Cable-stayed harp design : the cables securing the deck of the bridge are parallel to each other as at the Alamillo in Seville, Spain, designed by Calatrava.

There is a good photo of this bridge also at http://en.broer.no/bro/index.php?ID=19.

1280px-Puente_del_Alamillo_en_Sevilla

Puente del Alamillo.jpg fotografiado por Galván para Enciclopedia.us.es bajo licencia de la licencia de documentación libre GNU, versión 1.2 y publicada en https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Puente_del_Alamillo_en_Sevilla.jpg

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Stone arches

Segovia

This photo was in public domain  at Wikipedia, but it is no longer there and even the TinEye Reverse Image Search could not produce its present location.

Stone arches were built by the Romans to carry a water line across hundreds of miles from the mountains down to all the valleys of Europe.

The photo was released into public domain by Bluedog 423. A 1.5 mega version is available at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Segovia_Aqueduct.JPG

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Segovia

A large version of this photo is at http://www.globalarchitectsguide.com/library/Aqueduct-of-Segovia.php

There had been aqueducts in ancient civilizations in India and the Middle East. There was one in Nineveh 50 miles long, and the Aztecs had one, too.

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Pont du Gard in France : http://fr.wikivisual.com/index.php/Image:Pont_du_gard.jpg.

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The bridge below was built the same way, but instead of water, it carries a railway track : El Saladillo Viaduct in Tucumán, Argentina :

El Saladillo

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And the  stone bridge near Aranjuez, Madrid, where the guerrilla tried to hold up Napoleon’s invasive  armies

(C) Jaro, also the geese below

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Truss deck :

A truss is crisscross structure made of wood or metal triangles as you would see under an old roof or all the way up the Eiffel tower, and here on the Columbia River (Astoria) Bridge, the longest bridge in Oregon :

columbia_river_astoria

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Photographed by Klaus-with-K and published at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Astoria-Megler_Bridge01_2008-02-26.jpg under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

I seem to have lost the reference to the black and white photo. A reverse image search at Tin Eye produced only the one here.

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US location oregon

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All possible truss shapes

The following drawing was made by a mathematician at http://blog.wolfram.com/2007/08/03/the-space-of-all-possible-bridge-shapes/ .

How does he know there aren’t yet one or two more?

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Suspension : Cameroon, on the West coast of central Africa. The photo is from a travel agency, the bridge is new and meant for tourists. It could be that they prefer adventurous clients, but the ad does not say so.

Sorry again: I cannot find the reference.  Tin Eye searched over 4.044 billion images in 0.812 seconds and found nothing beside this picture.

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…. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-72065/bridge

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Ganterbridge Switzerland.

Pre-stressed concrete with a main span of 170 meters in the Swiss Alps.

The picture is from photos/marc72/1406731303/Ganterbridge, but the link is no longer good.

Menn, Ganter Bridge 2

In the past to build a bridge like that, at least in one case they seem to have made a deal with the devil :

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Teufelsbrücke01

The Teufelsbrücke = Devil’s Bridge photographed by Markus Schweiss and released into public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teufelsbr%C3%BCcke01.jpg

New Age :

The devil offered to set it up, but in return he wanted to collect the soul of whoever was the first to cross it : the Teufelsbrücke or Devil’s bridge near Andermatt, Switzerland.

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But there are many bridges that must have cost lives to set up, like this stone bridge in Yemen. You can see how the stones were placed one by one:

Shehara_02 …..
There is a larger version of this picture at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Shehara_02.jpg

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An undertruss: The Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge as seen from an Amtrack train on the east side of the Hudson River.

The photo by David Hermeyer was taken at the request of  Samuel Wantman and published at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Kingston-Rhinecliff_Bridge2.JPG licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

And below,  looking like daddy’s  toy train,  a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train eastbound over the Stoney Creek Bridge.

Photographed by David R. Spencer and published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eastbound_over_SCB.jpg.

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:London_Thames_Sunset_panorama_-_Feb_2008.jpg

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link  to  the large version at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/London_Thames_Sunset_panorama_-_Feb_2008.jpg

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The twin draw bridges of the Tower Bridge in London : In the past they were lifted by steam engines. This is where you can see their legendary war ship Belfast in memory of D-day.

belfast

In London there was also the “London Bridge is falling down, falling down” of the  little song  about a famous bridge which was sinking. So, rather than destroying it, the Londoners sold it to an American inventor who took it back home  and set it up as a souvenir in his recently invented city of Lake Havasu in Arizona….

:-)

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The Longest  Span

There is more than one way to measure the length of a bridge. Do you include all the accesses ? And would you also include the underground work or only the visible part?

So some would be interested only in the World’s l o n g e s t   s p a n : the longest stretch up in the air without ground support :

humber bridge under fog

Humber Bridge in England : longest span until 1998. It’s like you are descending into Heaven.

Akashi-kaikyo Bridge in Japan:  longest span now.

It is also known as The Pearl bridge and can take winds of 286 kilometres per hour (178 mph) and earthquakes measuring to 8.5 on the Richter scale.

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leonardo bridge drawing

Leonardo writes down how he would build the greatest single span bridge of his time.

http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~history/booknmaps.html

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Longest Total Bridge Length

Instead of measuring only the span, you add the accesses and the underground work, you’ll find the World’s longest bridges  are in Louisiana. They are built as roads in water and called causeways:

The Antelope Island Causeway, Salt Lake, Utah, from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Antelope_Island_Causeway.jpg

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Die Lake Pontchartrain Brücke in südlicher Richtung vor der Klappbrücke. — Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, direction south. approaching the bascule, photographed and released into public domain by Jan Kronsell according to http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LPCauseway.jpg

It is 24 miles long and named after a French aristocrat who served under Louis XIV. —

A causeway is a road that is raised above water or marshland or sand. — When first used, the word appeared in a form such as “causey way” and in an earlier form “causey”.  It derives ultimately, from the Latin for heel, calx, and most likely comes from the trampling technique to consolidate earthworks. Anciently, the construction was trodden down, one layer at a time, often by slaves or flocks of sheep. →  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causeway

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The bridge is exposed to high waves coming in from the ocean, and hurricane George in 1998 caused extensive damage.

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Manchac Swamp Bridge in the US crosses 23 miles of cypress swamp in Louisiana.

When it was being planned many feared for the swamp’s famous wildlife and flora.

US louisiana location

Louisiana has the world’s longest bridges, because there are immense waterways all over. It is at the end of the Mississippi:

Waterway_Louisiana

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Public domain Jaro 2012

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Added April 2013

China!

This is from a photo report about China’s latest techno marvels at http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/04/11/album/1365683485_473289.html#1365683485_473289_1365683589

bridge in china
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Comments»

1. David - June 26, 2008

You’ve posted on this topic a couple of times before. Your fascination with bridges is very intriguing. Is there purposeful symbolism being employed here?

Like the new header, even the old one was accidentally deleted. Maybe it’s just the novelty. It IS a little spooky looking now that I look at it closer. Butterfly helps dissipate that.

2. cantueso - June 26, 2008

There is no symbolism in bridges. Not at all. For symbols I’d prefer fences according to Robert Frost’s: Good fences make good neighbours. But what you can’t see from the outside of a skyscraper, of a watch, of a computer, of a car, the know-how, a bridge shows it off, embodies it, is a mathematical formula which came out of the magician’s hat just as you see it now crossing the river.

(In fact, the airplane, its shape, the shape of its wings, though not its motor, is a similar thing)

3. Kings (aka Reyes) - October 7, 2008

Podrías decir que the aqueduct is in Segovia, Spain, y por si el McCain es uno de tus lectores tendrás que añadir que Spain is in Europe.

4. Генка - October 28, 2008

А чё, неплохо.
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He says “Not bad” in Russian, something like “niploha”.

5. Pablo Villalba - February 7, 2009

Hi there, my name is pablo villalba, I´m from tucuman and I proude to tell you that there´s a marvelous viaduct in Tucuman Argentina, It´s call “VIADUCTO DE EL SALADILLO”. built in 1884, It´s the only great viaduct made with masonry in the whole america continent.
25 arches, 308 m of total lenght, 30 m of height.
It´s rail line was closed in 1928 due to structural failures. Insted of repair it, the goverment decided to built another one next to the original, this time a truss structure, weightless and shorter than the first.

go on the link below to see more. this is the web that belongs to the turism province organization.

http://www.tucumanturismo.gov.ar/index.asp?centro=localidad&id_localidad=56&id_circuito=9

6. cantueso - February 8, 2009

Gracias por tu mensaje. Es muy bonito el viaducto. Lástima que en la web no tengas fotos más grandes. ¿No es típico de las webs turísticas de la América Latina poner mucho texto y fotos muy chiquitas?

7. amanda - February 25, 2010

hey is there yemen bridge?

8. cantueso - February 26, 2010

To amanda

I don’t understand your question.

9. aventura - August 26, 2010

I love thhis it was cool and had nice pic!!!

10. YreNextTrgt - April 7, 2011

NATO is taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, world media reported Sunday.

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

The 28 NATO ambassadors met on Sunday to decide on further military plans in Libya.

The United States transfers command for a no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, while coalition forces will continue to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces.

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of the 27 European Union states on Thursday issued a statement saying the EU stood ready to assist in building a new Libya “in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others.”

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110327/163235937.html

11. Walgreens Coupons - December 4, 2011

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