18 October 2011

Bridges news roundup

I thought I'd briefly interrupt the posts on Merseyside bridges to catch up with some bridges news from the last week or two ...

Happy birthday to a transport of delight
Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge celebrates its centenary. Nice little article from The Guardian.

Barnard Castle footbridge would be 'longest in UK'
265m suspension footbridge proposed. Close examination of the image supplied suggests a commendable desire to keep to keep it cheap and cheerful rather than unnecessarily embellished. I think that's a good thing, and it would be a remarkable span if they can only work out how to fund it.

Crazy Swiss Swingers Suspend Hot Tub from Bridge
Yes, yes, but which bridge is it?

Rehberger's Slinky Footbridge
Designer of new footbridge in Oberhausen interviewed. It was designed in collaboration with Schlaich Bergermann, and the artist's spiral enclosure notwithstanding, it's an impressive stressed ribbon bridge (the deck for the main span is 66m long and a mere 12cm thick). It's almost a shame, given the inspiration, that it doesn't appear to wobble. More details here.

Thousands of jobs secured as Mersey Gateway gets green light
This has been extensively reported elsewhere, but I thought a couple of points were worth noting. Can we take seriously the project director's quote that "Only six organisations in the world are capable of delivering this complex project." Really? Really? The local councils' chief executive also said: "We will keep the iconic design of the bridge but we will be challenging engineers to come up with different ideas and designs." It will be interesting to see what that means when tenders are submitted: there would seem limited scope for contractor value engineering unless at least some significant variation on the current design is permitted.

Pihl is building new bridge in Copenhagen
Danish contractor Pihl have been awarded the contract to build the Inderhavnen "Kissing Bridge". I've discussed the design, by Flint and Neill, Studio Bednarski, Hardesty and Hanover, and Speirs and Major, previously. It's an unusual opening bridge where the two halves of the main span retract along curved guideways.

Pennine Bridleway bridge design gains plaudits
It's an environmentally appropriate and structurally remarkable timber footbridge, built in the Yorkshire Dales, and already receiving awards. Its 24m main span is in stress-laminated timber, with short lengths of timber in laid in the form of an arch, and tensioned together with transverse tie rods. The pictures at outdoorsmagic.com make that a bit clearer. It has been recognised with a Wood Award and a BCIA Award.

City release new renderings of ped-bike bridge
Knoxville, Tennessee are planning a major river crossing, with the 200m span arch depicted being the preference from six options discussed in a detailed report. It's hard to believe it's the least expensive, and the arches as currently shown look unnecessarily bulky (possibly because they seem to want to do it in concrete rather than steel).

Council chief says ‘bold design’ of bridge will create ‘distinctive’ gateway to the city
Work to start on landmark Bradford footbridge. Bold, yes. Beautiful? Nah.

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