Portal:Bridges

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A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles without closing the way underneath such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle. There are many different designs that each serve a particular purpose and apply to different situations. Designs of bridges vary depending on the function of the bridge, the nature of the terrain where the bridge is constructed and anchored, the material used to make it, and the funds available to build it.

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Suspension Bridge Near Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge was the world's first working railway suspension bridge. It spanned 825 feet (251 m) and stood 2.5 miles (4.0 km) downstream of Niagara Falls from 1855 to 1897. Connecting Niagara Falls, Ontario to Niagara Falls, New York (the two cities assimilated the towns at the ends of the bridge by 1892), the bridge carried mixed traffic on its two decks across the Niagara River; trains crossed over the river by way of the bridge's upper deck while pedestrians and carriages used the lower. As the bridge was the result of a collaboration of two companies from two countries, it was also known by its American name, the International Suspension Bridge. The bridge had other names including the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge and Niagara Suspension Bridge, but the most common and definitive was simply the Suspension Bridge.

The Suspension Bridge was part of Canadian politician William Hamilton Merritt's vision to promote trade within his country and with its neighbor the United States. When Merritt and company invited the engineering community to bid for the bridge project, they encountered heavy criticism. Many bridge builders, and the general public, did not believe a suspension bridge could allow the safe passage of trains. Nonetheless, the bridge companies engaged several well-known civil engineers to build and maintain the bridge. Charles Ellet, Jr. was first hired to construct the bridge. Using a line laid by a kite across the 800-foot (240 m) chasm, he built a temporary suspension bridge in 1848 as the first part of his plan. Not long after, Ellet left the project after a bitter financial dispute with the bridge companies. A three-year hiatus followed before the companies hired John Augustus Roebling to complete the project. Roebling used Ellet's bridge as scaffolding to build the double-decked bridge. By 1854 his bridge was nearly complete, and the lower deck was opened for pedestrian and carriage travel. On March 18, 1855, a fully laden passenger train drove across the upper deck at 5 miles per hour (8.0 km/h), and officially opened the completed bridge.

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Albert Fink

Albert Fink (October 27, 1827 – April 3, 1897) was a German civil engineer. He is best known for his railroad bridge designs, and devising the Fink truss.

Born in Lauterbach, Hesse, Germany, he studied architecture and engineering at the Polytechnic school in Darmstadt, and graduated in 1848. In 1849 he emigrated to the United States. He soon found work with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a draftsman, and became chief office assistant to Benjamin H. Latrobe. In this position he oversaw the design and construction of buildings and bridges. With the construction of the road between Cumberland, Maryland and Wheeling, West Virginia (then in the state of Virginia). Fink supervised much of the design, and oversaw the building of some of the first iron bridges in the nation, including that over the Monongahela River in Fairmont, West Virginia. It was this bridge that first implemented his design of the Fink truss, and was in fact in its time the longest iron railroad bridge. With the completion of this portion of road, the section between Grafton and Parkersburg, West Virginia was commenced, and many of the bridges and tunnels of this route were also supervised by him. He was also during this time a consulting engineer of the Norfolk and Petersburg railway, which was at the time building the bridge at Norfolk, Virginia. He left the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in 1857 to become the assistant of George McLeod, chief engineer of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Under them he built numerous bridges, including the Green River Bridge in Kentucky, then the longest iron bridge in the nation, a bridge in Nashville, Tennessee over the Cumberland, and one over the Ohio at Louisville, Kentucky, which at one mile in length was the longest truss bridge of its time.

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Bridge

Bridge types: Arch bridge, Aqueduct, Bailey bridge, Bascule bridge, Beam bridge, Box girder bridge, Cable-stayed bridge, Caisson, Cantilever bridge, Cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge, Clapper bridge, Covered bridge, Curling bridge, Drawbridge, Extradosed bridge, Folding bridge, Footbridge, Girder bridge, Inca rope bridge, Jetway, Lattice truss bridge, Log bridge, Mabey Logistic Support Bridge, Moon bridge, Plate girder bridge, Pontoon bridge, Retractable bridge, Self-anchored suspension bridge, Segmental bridge, Side-spar cable-stayed bridge, Simple suspension bridge, Skew arch bridge, Step-stone bridge, Stressed ribbon bridge, Submersible bridge, Suspension bridge, Swing bridge, Taper Suspension Bridge, Tied arch bridge, Tilt bridge, Through arch bridge, Toll bridge, Transporter bridge, Trestle, Truss arch bridge, Truss bridge, Tubular bridge, Vertical lift bridge, Viaduct, Vierendeel bridge, Vlotbrug, Weigh bridge, Zig-zag bridge

Individual bridges Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1, Contoocook Railroad Bridge, Delaware Memorial Bridge, Forth Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Huey P. Long Bridge, Humber Bridge, Kintai Bridge, Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, Mackinac Bridge, Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, Millau Viaduct, New River Gorge Bridge, Pont de Normandie, Rion-Antirion Bridge, San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge (Eastern span replacement), San Mateo – Hayward Bridge, Stonecutters Bridge, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Tappan Zee Bridge (replacement), Throgs Neck Bridge, Triborough Bridge, Tsing Ma Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (please expand)


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