June 4

Bridge Construction

A bridge is defined as ‘a structure that spans and provides a passage over a road, railway, river, or some other obstacle’. Bridges also have different connotations, such as:

build bridges to promote reconciliation or cooperation between hostile groups or people

cross a bridge when (one) comes to it to deal with a problem only when it arises; not to anticipate difficulties
vb (tr)
Your assignment is to build a bridge to specification which will be able to bear the most load possible. To do this, you will have to study different bridge designs and structures, the strengths and weaknesses of each design, in order to make decisions about your own bridge design and construction.

Engineers worldwide are making decisions like yours about bridges every day, but on a larger scale. Some of their decisions are well founded on principles of physics, material structure and dynamics. Sometimes they haven’t done their homework…with dire consequences. Check out the videos below.

The Impossible Bridge

Tacoma Bridge Collapse

Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
Although the Minneapolis Bridge collapse does not look as dramatic as the bridge collapse in Tacoma, more lives were lost.

Take a look at 4 common bridge designs.

Draw a 3 column table with headings: Bridge design/Strengths/Weaknesses. Note down in your table the strengths and weaknesses of each type of bridge design. Some of these have already been referred to in the films above. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bridge/build.html

Bridge construction. Follow the links down the LHS of the page to learn more about different types of bridges.





Aquinas College Library Resources:

‘Bridge Collapses’ by Michael Dugan 363.12 DUG

‘Story Bridge: Idea to Icon’ by Michael Moy 725.98 MOY

‘Bridges’ by Julie Richards 624.2 RIC

Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge‘Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge’ by John Nicholson 725.98 NIC

‘The Proud Arch: The Story of the Sydney Harbour Bridge’ by David Ellyard 725.98 ELL

‘Suspension Bridge’ DVD0192

‘Structures: Tension, Compression, Shear, Torsion, Cantilever, Bending’ VIDEO 2198

‘Bridges’ VIDEO 2325

‘Leaping Across Channels’ VIDEO 2199

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *