04 January 2011

Happy New Year

I'm back from my Christmas break, although blogging may be somewhat subdued as 2011 begins as I have several other things to attend to, New Year's resolutions amongst them.

While I've been away, there have been a couple of interesting items in bridge-related news, chief among them being the New York Port Authority's decision to raise the road deck of the Bayonne Bridge, rather than to build a replacement structure (the third option, raising the bridge and its supporting arch, was surely never a serious contender). At a cost of US$1 billion, this will allow much taller ships to pass below the bridge and access the ports at Newark and Elizabeth. It will be a very challenging project, and definitely one to watch with interest over the next few years.

In the UK, both the big bridges currently under development have had positive news. The £600m Mersey Gateway received government planning consent just before Christmas, about a week after the £2bn new Forth bridge obtained legislative approval from the Scottish Parliament. Both bridge are multi-span cable-stay structures, although they tackle the stability issues of such a design in very different ways. The Mersey span uses a deeper deck to stiffen the towers, while the (significantly longer) Forth crossing has a more innovative solution involving criss-crossing stays near the middle of each span.

Elsewhere, a u-turn by a landowner means that £2.65m of grants earmarked for a new cycle bridge near Perth may never be used.

And it's great to see the Bridge Photo of the Day blog return to life, with a suitably chilly set of images.

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