Bridges: The Science and Art of the World's Most Inspiring Structures

Bridges: The Science and Art of the World's Most Inspiring Structures

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by David Blockley
     
 

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The Brooklyn Bridge, London's Tower Bridge, San Francisco's Golden Gate—bridges can be breathtakingly monumental structures, magnificent works of art, and vital arteries that make life vastly easier. In Bridges, eminent structural engineer David Blockley takes readers on a fascinating guided tour of bridge construction, ranging from the primitive rope bridges

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Overview

The Brooklyn Bridge, London's Tower Bridge, San Francisco's Golden Gate—bridges can be breathtakingly monumental structures, magnificent works of art, and vital arteries that make life vastly easier. In Bridges, eminent structural engineer David Blockley takes readers on a fascinating guided tour of bridge construction, ranging from the primitive rope bridges (now mainly found in adventure movies), to Roman aqueducts and the timber trestle railway bridges of the American West, to today's modern marvels, such as the Akashi-Kaiky? Bridge, which has the largest span in the world. Blockley outlines the forces at work on a bridge—tension, compression, and shear—and the basic structural elements that combat these forces—beams, arches, trusses, and suspensions (or BATS). As he does so, he explores some of the great bridges around the world, including such lesser-known masterpieces as the Forth Railway Bridge (featured in Alfred Hitchcock's The Thirty-Nine Steps), and describes some spectacular failures, such as the recent bridge collapse in Minnesota or the famous failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fascinating exploration for lay readers, Blockley lucidly explains both the basic forces at work on every bridge—tension, compression, and shear—and the structural elements combating those forces: beams, arches, trusses, and suspension cables. He succeeds in his desire to “read a bridge like a book.” Following fellow civil engineers and writers David Billington and Henry Petroski, Blockley makes clear that engineers as much as architects and scientists design bridges and that technology is not merely “applied science.” The author provides an excellent history of bridge construction, from primitive rope bridges and Roman aqueducts to 19th- and 20th-century railroad bridges and contemporary achievements like Japan's Akashi-Kaiky Bridge, which has the largest central span of any suspension bridge. The author also discusses important bridge failures and the lessons learned from them, including the Minnesota I-35 bridge, and the less seriously damaged London Millennium Bridge, which was closed for two years after opening day's huge crowds caused wobbling. Blockley concludes that bridges do not merely transport people and goods but also “help us express some of our deepest emotions.” Bold, insightful statements help make this a remarkable work. 50 b&w illus. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199645725
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/18/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
325,223
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

David Blockley is an Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was President of the Institution of Structural Engineers 2001-02.

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Bridges: The Science and Art of the World's Most Inspiring Structures 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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