Minggu, 14 April 2013

Another Great Lifting Bridge

I accidentally found something on internet about a picture making me curious about what exactly it is.. 
By looking at the picture, I must admit that it's aesthetically great and I feel so pleasant to see it. But there is something that makes me curious about the bridge, it is about what the writer stated about the bridge with "Another great lifting bridge". 

I am not actually good designing a bridge structure, though I have ever studied about structural engineering in  my university, such as multi-storey building, simple houses, warehouse, and also the concept of designing a bridge. But, I don't really master all of the points to design a very reliable bridge because I still need more experiences and study more about it. Of course, getting Bachelor Degree from civil engineering department sometimes doesn't mean that you are so capable to design a bridge like this !

So, let me show you the picture of this bridge !
Here it is..
Picture I (Right Side)

 Picture II (Front Side)

They call it as lifting bridge ! (So, what is it ?)
According to the sources that I got, it can be defined as a bridge which is designed to allow passage of boats beneath the bridge by lifting part of the bridge's span above the grade of the rest of the bridge. In the other words, when people build the bridge across the river, so it will not bother the traffic on the river beneath the bridge, because the bridge's span can be lifted up by using the machine so that it can allow all the traffic to pass the river.

And then............
I am still trying to find what makes this bridge different from the other lifting bridges.
This bridge will be built in Bilbao, northern Spain with 161.1m-long main span linking the suburbs of Leioa and Urbinaga and the new lifting bridge. It has been designed to transport the new tram line across the Nervion River which includes pedestrian and cycle path access with a total deck width of 12m. It consists of 6 m wide for tram lines, and a 3 m wide footway on the left side and a 3 m wide footway on the right side. If I can compare it with the other bridges, I think it's special because it has been designed to provide the tram, pedestrian and bike-rider to pass the bridge. And maybe it's because I have never met this kind of bridge in my country which provides the particular paths for tram lines, pedestrian and biker, so I can call it special ! yeah. :)

Now, I am so tempted to look at the other lifting bridges around the world to compare them one by one so I can get more references to ensure about the differences among them. Based on the historical data, the size of the lift span (161.1m-long main span) will make it the second longest lift span in the world after the USA's Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge (Yeah I still don't know the maximum span and maximum weight allowed for the lifting bridge to build and to lift up, but forget it a while, 'coz I will need the real calculation for this question !)

The vertical clearance required for the bridge must be greater than 48m. I can say that it's caused by the height of boats passing the river affecting the design for the bridge. Or on the other hand, I can assume that it's one of the requirements needed to clear the river from some disruptions when the boat passes the river. And when I think about how this bridge can assure the people there will be less traffic jam due to the regulation that must be applied for the whole concept, I need to know about the whole process about the operating system of this bridge to accommodate the tram, pedestrian, bikers, and the boats/ships. Thus, I think the concept of this bridge is so brilliant by making the minimum vertical clearance (closed position) to reduce the number of openings. Then the expected number of the bridge to open is 20 - 40 times in a year or about 3 times in a month. And it makes me wonder how long I need to wait for the bridge to open and ready to pass. (Please take me someday to this bridge if it's really built by the Spain Government.. hee)

Talking about this bridge, I remember about the movable bridge in Chicago, because I have ever made a report about the development of the bridge around the world when I was in the first year in my university/college. There are more than one movable bridge in Chicago that were constructed years ago by Chicago Engineers. So, the engineers made the bridge creatively and skillfully. The bridges make the city looks cool ! Let's take a look at the picture below..

The Movable Bridge in Chicago

Back to the lifting bridge, I still need to discuss or even learn more about how to design and construct the bridge providing the path for tram use, with the long span which can be lifted up when the ships/boats want to pass the river. And I am so impressed with all the skill, creativity, and courage to construct this bridge. And I think it will give some benefits to the all related project components.

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