Over the summer, a spectacular golden bridge opened to the public near Da Nang. In addition to a great view from Vietnam's Ba Na Hills, the Cầu Vàng bridge appears to be supported by a colossal hand. Read the rest
America's infrastructure is close to hitting rock bottom. In fact, infrastructure as a whole in the US received an embarrassing D+ on the American Society of Civil Engineers latest Infrastructure Report Card. And when talking specifically about bridges, the grade was a C+. Way to go, Congress.
According to Business Insider, "Every state has at least one structurally deficient bridge, which the US Department of Transportation (DOT) defines as when one or more key bridge components (e.g. the deck, superstructure, or substructure) is in 'poor' condition."
And the Auto Insurance Center says that "tens of thousands of bridges across the country are currently falling apart." Great. So which of these over 10,000 crumbling US bridges are in the worst condition? The Auto Insurance Center put out a list, which includes the worst bridge in every state, including Washington D.C. Here is a sample from the list:
• Arizona I-17 over 19th Avenue in Maricopa County • California I-110 over Dominguez Channel in Los Angeles • Colorado I-70 ML over Havana St Railroad in Denver • Florida Fuller Warren Bridge in Duval County • New York Route I-278 over Relief in Richmond County • Washington DC Anacostia Freeway over Suitland Parkway Southeast
For an easy way to read the full list, check it out at Business Insider.
I've spent most of my life surrounded by bridges, living beside oceans and bays and rivers that required me to cross them daily. But I never really knew what the engineering principles were, or how they worked—I simply trusted that they did.
After playing Poly Bridge, a physics-based game where you construct bridges to solve puzzles, I have concluded both that 1) no one should ever allow me to build a weight-bearing structure, and 2) it's a lot more fun than I anticipated.
In each level, you're given a certain amount of resources—concrete, wood, hydraulics—and tasked with building a bridge for a certain number of vehicles to cross. There's a tutorial that walks you through the basics (hint: it involves a lot of triangles) and it's simple enough to almost anyone to follow. Once the real game begins, however, it may take a lot of trial and error to figure out exactly how to get all those cars and motorbikes from point A to point B.
Sometimes you'll be limited by materials, other times only by your imagination. Sure, a ramp that launches motorcycles like projectiles across the water isn't the safest municipal construction decision, but it's definitely more fun. Other times you might construct wiggling suspension bridges, or drawbridges that contract when tugboats come chugging down the river.
I'm not particularly inclined towards engineering, so I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy Poly Bridge. But the game holds your hand enough long enough to make you feel like you have the skills you need, and then lets you tweak and repeat as many times as you need to gain confidence in your own experiments. Read the rest
Seventy-eight years ago this week, the Golden Gate Bridge opened across the San Francisco Bay. Read the rest
During Friday rush hour, a pair of deer trotted across the Golden Bate Bridge from San Francisco toward Marin. I hope they have FasTrak for the commute back. Read the rest
Amazingly talented and frequently quirky alt.folk act Thao & The Get Down Stay Down orchestrated the first video production on the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. They were shut down by The Man but not before capturing enough footage to make this vid for "Feeling Kind" from their excellent LP "We The Common." Read the rest
When the newly-replaced Oakland span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is demolished in the next few years, the scrap will be sent to China. David Grieshaber has other plans for it. He's launched BayBridgeHouse.org, an effort to recycle just a bit of the material into a house and multi-use space.
The project plans to build one of the most advanced eco sustainable houses to date, using recycled pieces of the bridge as the structure of the building. We are looking for creative out of the box designs that preserves the historic look and some design elements of the Bridge. Concrete, steel and glass, we do not intend to use any wood and plaster as a building material. The designs must utilize as much of the old bay bridge in the design as possible. This includes trusses, steel I-beams, steel girders, steel plates, wires, gates, fencing, ladders, walkways, concrete, and any other parts associated with the bridge. The location of the house will have a view of the New Bay Bridge.
A new bridge in Dresden, Germany, was deemed so hideous that the UNESCO has delisted the entire city from its World Heritage index. The removal, protesting the construction's marring of historical city views, makes Dresden the first city to exit the United Nations' tally of the world's beautiful and important places. Read the rest