Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Brute force, or grace?
Check out pictures of the bridge to replace the one that collapsed in Minneapolis. Notice that it's more or less a flat slab of a bridge trying to span 500' across the Big Muddy. I'm not one who thinks that it's not a bridge if it doesn't have some arches, but my rudimentary understanding of structures reminds me that one of the most difficult things to do, architecturally speaking, is to span a large distance without using some form of girder or arch in the design. Evidently, it's cheaper to install massive amounts of concrete and steel than it is to maximize the strength of a smaller amount of concrete and steel.