The structural engineering that goes into bridge design is becoming quite creative. There are a number of different ways to design a structurally sound bridge. An interesting article on Gizmodo highlights five new bridges with interesting designs:
- The Second Penang Bridge in China utilizes piles that had to be bored over 90 meters into the bedrock below the ocean floor. The borings are extremely heavy duty, and are comprised of tubular steel.
- The Baakenhafen Bridge in Hamburg, Germany was designed to feature an “orthotropic deck” that is strong enough to play a role in the structural profile of the bridge by supporting vertical weight. Orthotropic decks are being used more frequently in new bridges. A 30-meter chunk in the middle of the bridge can be removed in case a very tall ship needs to pass in the future.
- The Waschmuhl Valley Bridge in Germany was created by structurally upgrading an existing historic brick arch by adding a steel deck bolstered by cables. This is an example of an “extradosed” bridge, which is a hybrid that uses both a box girder (a column that offers support from the ground) and the use of cables. Bridges like this can require less materials and less maintenance going forward.
- The Elbebridge Schonebeck Bridge that runs over the Elber River depends on a steel and concrete tower that anchors cables which keep the deck in place. This bridge is highlighted for its simplicity and efficiency.
- The Shenyang Hun River Ribbon Bridge in China has beautiful ascetics (see the picture here), as it utilizes looping, tilted arches that are meant to evoke “streamers dancing gracefully and dynamically above the water.”