According to Wikipedia, “The first bridges were made by nature itself — as simple as a log fallen across a stream or stones in the river. The first bridges made by humans were probably spans of cut wooden logs or planks and eventually stones, using a simple support and crossbeam arrangement. Some early Americans used trees or bamboo poles to cross small caverns or wells to get from one place to another. A common form of lashing sticks, logs, and deciduous branches together involved the use of long reeds or other harvested fibers woven together to form a connective rope capable of binding and holding together the materials used in early bridges.” The definition of a “bridge” according to Wikipedia is: “A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle. Designs of bridges vary depending on the function of the bridge, the nature of the terrain where the bridge is constructed, the material used to make it and the funds available to build it.”
We have some bridges that deserve some SSF attention. Check them out here.
Pedestrian and cycle bridges like this one spanning the Brisbane River in Australia, joins Brisbane’s Central Business District with the city’s South Bank and its major cultural precinctare part of an effort to sustainably connect communities, otherwise divided by a river, all around the world and this is one great example of how it can be a visual asset as well.
Although this looks slightly cluttered (visually) at first, the aesthetic design may have been abstractly inspired by Dance and Symphony in Australia. The LED lighting system can be programmed to provide an array of light colors and rhythms and the bridge comes alive at night.84 solar panels provide electricity for the bridges sophisticated LED lighting system. Surplus electricity generated by the solar array is returned to the main grid.
The U.K. holds title to the world’s first and only tilting bridge! The whole bridge in Newcastle tilts. A foot and cycle bridge, so beautifully designed that it attracts people from all over the world. The tilting action is so energy efficient that it costs £3.60 each time it opens.
This is a great example of innovation prompted by the global push to create sustainable solutions for every day functions. Although this bridge was expensive to build in comparison, the mechanical concept is a paradigm shift that can be adopted and adapted in multiple ways to provide a stylish solution to one aspect of transportation – Draw Bridges.
Because the structure is only being tilted, the gravity is far less therefore it requires far less energy to operate. With the bridge deck suspended at street level and few feet over the water, crossing this bridge can give you a sense of walking on water.
This bridge for motorist is one of the final links in the Natchez Trace Parkway project. Rich with history, the beginnings of the Natchez Trace Parkway project date back to 1930. Technology in building has come along way.
This bridge was built with a new type of concrete that is stronger and modular. The bridge’s arches are designed to support the deck without evenly spaced spandrel columns, resulting in a picturesque, unencumbered appearance. The modular design also allows for a majority of the fabrication to be built off site. The bi-products of construction have much less impact in their controlled environment.
This post was contributed by SSF Board Prez Shane Hyatt .
1. Photo and information from World Architecture News
2. Photo and specifications taken from the official Newcastle Gateshead tourism website
3. Photo and specifications taken from the Federal Highway Administrations’ web site