Awe-Inspiring Construction of Mountain Highway Bridges in China
China is home to some of the most spectacular mountains, and some of the deepest gorges that need to be spanned with ridiculously tall bridges - and all these infrastructure projects are supposed to be good for Chinese economy.
There is only one problem: the amount of jaws dropped into the gorges by awestruck tourists and the sense of professional envy these bridges inspire in architects around the world, itching to land a similarly grand project:
Building West Hubei and Shanghai Chengdu Expressway Bridge - some 1365 meters in length, towering 650 meters over the bottom of the gorge (images via)
You need to build a bridge over THAT? (this is what passes for a "mountain valley" in China) -
Well, this will require piers at least 150m tall -
This one almost copies the overall shape (without the underlying mechanics) of Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which we covered in Part 1 - this is Sanhao Bridge over Hunhe River in Shenyang, Liaoning Province:
"If you demolish bridges behind you, then there is no choice but forward" (bad motivational advice)
Transporting bridges can indeed be a beautiful sight (Portlanders were treated to such scenes in 2007, for example, when Port of Portland's old bridge center section was replaced). Pictured here is the Pentele bridge in Dunaújváros, Hungary:
Controlled demolition of bridges can be a fantastic job: this spectacular photo shows the end of the old Jamestown bridge in Rhode Island (also watch video)
As we continue to cover some of the most impressive (tallest, longest, etc.) bridges, Dubai's "Largest Arch Bridge", planned for 2012 (not sure, if it's still on schedule), surprises with the graceful curves - more info
The mighty Humber Bridge in Hull, England, comes to mind next:
Even though it's only fifth-largest suspension single-span bridge in the world, it's also quite graceful and inspiring in its arching curve. Before the bridge was built, local folks had to use hovercraft service - it was unreliable, plagued with mechanical problems, but an adventure in itself (in a sooty- dieselpunkish way)
Treat your eyes on these classic shots of the Humber Bridge's "vanishing point" -
Russian futurism.... a bridge in Siberia... dreamy....
(art by Tekhnika Molodezhi, 1974)
Also, we just have to mention the proposed Alaskan Bridge, really a "Bridge to Nowhere", a bizarre project which got some money for the state under Sara Palin, but was mercifully put to rest thereafter... "I have a bridge to sell you up in Alaska"... no, thanks! The story about it can be watched here.
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