You know, man does not live solely to search for Dad’s 18 wheeler. Every once and a while you must stop and notice that bridge you are driving under or over. You know the one – it’s over I-90 northwest of Chicago, or maybe it’s on I-80 over the North Platte River in Nebraska, or maybe it’s on the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway over a street in Brooklyn. There are thousands of similar bridges on all of the interstate highways across America and it really doesn’t matter where yours is located, but I hope you realize that it was designed by a team of civil engineers, the construction was inspected by another team of civil engineers, and it was constructed by contractors that employeed heavy equipment operators, laborers, and other civil engineers.
If your bridge is on one of the expressways leading into any major American City, than you are riding in a car with hundreds of thousands of others per day that cross over or under that bridge. I’m sure you are observant enough to notice if your bridge is under construction? If you’re like me, you’re upset at the traffic jam that occurs quite often when that happens. Don’t forget, though, the bridge owner must periodically reconstruct your bridge, as well as the pavement, in order to increase vehicle capacity and to replace it and the pavement because it was constructed over 50 years ago. This means it is at the end of it’s design life. Millions and milllions of cars, trucks, 18 wheelers, and motorcycles have traveled over that expressway, so it is time to retire it and start again.
But, I bet you haven’t stopped to take a look at it under construction, have you? How would you like to see what the end of the beams look like as they temporarily extend over the travel lanes awaiting completion? Here are 6 views of the same bridge under construction – –
I hope you enjoy these views and will remember to thank a civil engineer the next time you cross a bridge.