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Friday Bridge blogging

by PeWi Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 02:48:13 AM EST

From the diaries, with edits ~ whataboutbob

Here is a quick bridge blog for this week:

Doing my research I came across a webpage of a real enthusiast with some fantastic pictures At least he is an engineer and is giving all the technical specifications and explanations.

Earlier THURSDAY Bridge Blogging:
Tyne Swing Bridge(Sept 1st)
Muengstener Bruecke (Aug 25th)
Mostar Bridge (Aug 18th)

for this bridge he gives the following information:
Name: Bridge of Alcántara
Location: Alcántara
Country: Spanien
Construction type: Arch bridge
Completion date: 100 AD.
Builder: Gajus Julius Lacer
Current traffic use: Car
Material: Sandstone
Overall length:180 M
Bridge span:30 M
Height over water:50 M

This reminds me of a childrens game were you had different cars, or ships and you would name one quality, Top speed and if the other person had a slower car, you would get his card.

Do visit his site Herr Nebel has some fantastic pictures on there.

Here is his complete description:
Nearly 2000 years ago in the only thinly settled Extremadura a bridge was being built that remains the best conserved bridge build by the Romans. It is in the Alcántara in the Spanish/Portuguese border area where the Rio Tajo cuts a deep ravine into the peculiar landscape of the Extremadura. The Romans called the river "Tagus Aurifer" and the Portuguese was called calls it "Tejo".  In Lisbon it finally flows into the Atlantic.

The Roman emperor Trajan ordered the building of a bridge over the Tajo in approx. 97 A.D., in order to connect the city Cáceres with the region Beira Alta in today's Portugal.  

Today this bridge is considered as the architecturally most beautiful and best preserved Roman stone arch bridge and gives us a descriptive example of the amazing abilities of the Romans in the area of the bridge construction.  Such an imposing structure, far from the center of power of the Roman Imperiums, did not surely only have economic and strategic meaning for its designers.  The Roman realm reached during the reign Trajans its largest expansion and the bridge was certainly also a powerful demonstration of the technical and military superiority of Roman power.  For the execution of the construction work the building master Gaius Julius Lacer was assigned.  The financing was left to the 11 surrounding cities in the province Lusitania.  
The construction work lasted from 98 to 103 A.D. and was mainly build by.  Even if this bridge does not rank among the largest stone arch bridges build by the Romans, it is because of its height and its architectural harmony a masterpiece.  The roadway is approx..  50 meters over the normal water level of the Tajo.  The two centre arches have spans of nearly 30 meters and to there are the furthest arches build in the antique.  In the center of the bridge is the triumpharch for emperor Trajan, who has a height of approximately 14 meters.  

In the year 1543 emperor Karl V. arranged an extensive restoration of the bridge and added double eagle coat of arms at the triumph arch of the Trajan fastens.  

The bridge of Alcántara defies nevertheless for nearly 2000 years the tides of the Rio Tajo and today more than ever by a substantial volume of traffic is taken up.  An amazing stability, if one considers that the stones are set on each other without any mortar!  Nothing much is known about the building master Gaius Julius Lacer except his participation in the building of the bridge of Alcantara.  He must have been very probably conscious of the fact that something great was created here: a small temple directly next to the bridge was build to honour him and where he was.  An inscription on his grave plate reads:  "I leave this bridge for all times to the generations of the world".  The Romans built for eternity...
and as always please post your own favourite bridges.

Roman bridge on the old Roman street over the San Bernardino in Switzerland.

by Fran on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 03:11:03 AM EST
Can't believe I only just discovered this regular feature! I love bridges :)

Last year I took the wife on a romantic day out in Briston to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge. It has an interesting history full of the names of famous Victorian engineers.

A merchant first left a legacy to build a bridge over the gorge in 1754. Thomas Telford the leading civil engineer of th time judged a bridge design competition in 1829, but rejected all submissions and chose his own design. This was unpopular and a second competition held in 1830. The not-yet-great 24 yr old Isambard Kingdom Brunel won the second competition in 1830 and was appointed project engineer - his first major commission.

The project was dogged with p political and financial problems and abandoned in 1843 with only the towers completed. Brunel died prematurely aged 53 yrs in 1859. The Bridge was completed as his memorial using chains from another of his works (since demolished), the Hungerford Suspension Bridge and finally opened in 1864.

Architect           Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Location            Bristol, England
Date                1836 to 1864
Construction System Suspension span
Style               Victorian Functionalist
Notes               Spans 702 feet across Avon Gorge on reused iron chains.

by Mike A on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 05:31:04 AM EST

Not very spectacular-looking, and its current constituting structural elements aren't old - but this suspension bridge in China stood constantly for 1700 years, with various parts replaced from time to time. China was far ahead Europe technologically for much of its history.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 06:53:56 AM EST

This bridge with the giant statues is only a few centuries old (from 1732). It features in the background in the Bud Spencer - Terence Hill movie "Watch Out, We're Mad". (I found this out only recently - didn't even knew where the film was made.)

Sorry I found no better photo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 07:10:30 AM EST
Here's two further views of Puente de Toledo:

[second photo Nicolas Janberg from structurae.]

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 10:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

This long-span concrete structure [77m] spans the Iowa River in Iowa Falls. Carrying U.S. Highway 65 (Oak Street) in this mildly urban setting, the open spandrel arch features two massive ribs, upon which bear a series of paneled concrete columns.

More historical information is available at the bridge's website.

by corncam on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 11:12:25 AM EST

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 02:28:26 PM EST
Jerome, you are freaking me out with your psychic powers!  I was just about to post the following:

So since we are posting American bridges, here's the Clark Bridge, on the Mississippi, in my hometown of Alton, IL.  The bridge looks impressive, but the weird thing is, it connects one small town to some swampland with a highway that runs through it.  And the towns in the area are either quaint & historic or poor & industrial.  It looks terribly out of place here.

Still, it has been called an engineering marvel (not sure why...) and Nova even made a movie about it which aired on TV.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 02:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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