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kucharek
2004-Dec-14, 03:30 PM
...will soon be possible in France.

http://www.ruggedelegantliving.com/a/003349.html
http://www.abelard.org/france/viaduct-de-millau.asp

I just hope, Sir Norman learnt something from the Millenium Bridge problems...


Harald

[edit: added second link]

Candy
2004-Dec-14, 03:34 PM
My god, it's breathtaking.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-14, 03:42 PM
Building a bridge there would have been the perfect scenario to ruin a landscape. Unless it was a beautiful bridge like this one of course. Brilliant! :P Amazing technical achievement, a practical construction and in perfect harmony (as far as possible without placing nothing at all there) with its surroundings. =D> I think it's the smoothness combined with the size that makes it a perfect fit with the landscape. The transparency of the construction makes it not too obvious.

Wally
2004-Dec-14, 03:43 PM
Yeah, that's one heck of an achievement! Wonder how long before cliff-jumpers begin sneaking on for a thrilling drop to the valley (unless they already have!).

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-14, 03:52 PM
I think I watched part of a Discovery Channel special about that bridge. In addition to its bueaty is how it's being built. I think they built the sections on land and drove them (well, they used hydrolic rams so I gues it's "rammed," not as elegant sounding) in place.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-14, 03:58 PM
I love how they used the pilars to support the cranes.seems to go against your feeling that the constructor is being held into place by the object being construted, but this pratice is quite common on big constructions (cranes placed on the temporary top of very large buildings)
http://www.centraliens.net/groupes-regionaux/province/provence/images-millau/0036a.jpg

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-14, 04:05 PM
Yup, that's the one I saw the special on.

I hope those tower cranes had elevators or that'd be one heck of a climb. They're building a new building next to my office and there's a couple tower cranes being used. Unfortunately for the operators, the only access is via a stairwell inside the tower. During lunch waiting for my food to heat up I watched one guy climbing down. He started before I arrived and still had a floor or two to go after I left.

ToSeek
2004-Dec-14, 04:25 PM
Another view (http://www.viaducdemillaueiffage.com/)

gethen
2004-Dec-14, 04:31 PM
Same reaction as other posters. I generally hate to see man-made structures intrude on beautiful landscapes, but it's hard to look at that bridge rising out of the mist and not be impressed. Nice job on the aesthetics, whoever designed it. =D>

kucharek
2004-Dec-14, 04:34 PM
Same reaction as other posters. I generally hate to see man-made structures intrude on beautiful landscapes, but it's hard to look at that bridge rising out of the mist and not be impressed. Nice job on the aesthetics, whoever designed it. =D>

Sir Norman Foster.

Ut
2004-Dec-14, 04:39 PM
Yeah, the bridge is pretty and all -- very Wizard of Oz -- but I must say, I'm not all that impressed by the landscape. The bridge seems a little too elequent for its surroundings.

mike alexander
2004-Dec-14, 05:08 PM
For me, pretty is usually its own excuse.

I'm impressed. It has the same esthetic as the Golden Gate Bridge, adding instead of overwhelming. Just a bit otherworldly, a hair fantastic. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan...

kucharek
2004-Dec-14, 05:57 PM
Just saw a movie clip in the news. Breathtaking! I'm sure people will drive over it just for the fun of it, though it costs you 5 Euro toll.

kucharek
2004-Dec-15, 08:58 AM
Yeah, that's one heck of an achievement! Wonder how long before cliff-jumpers begin sneaking on for a thrilling drop to the valley (unless they already have!).

In the news they showed a clip from June with a base-jumper doing it from the viaduct.

PS: Found a link:

http://www.redbull.com/article.action?documentIntID=1088435839771-431335930

Argos
2004-Dec-15, 11:30 AM
Building a bridge there would have been the perfect scenario to ruin a landscape.

It does spoil the landscape, IMO, no matter how beautiful it is. Another fallus to celebrate manīs vanity.

Laguna
2004-Dec-15, 11:40 AM
Next summer I will spend my holidays near Millau, like every summer...
I already saw the bridge when it was still under construction and this time I will invest the 6,50 Euros to cross it.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 12:43 PM
On a sidetrack, there is some double meaning in "man ruining nature" aren't we part of nature? If a bird's nest is nature, why aren't our houses? This is just a sidethought, I don't want to hijack the thread nor am I supporting the opinion that we can do whatever we want with the planet. [-X [-X [-X [-X

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-15, 01:05 PM
Goes along with my question of if a bear can, uh, go in the woods, why do I have to pack mine out in a baggie?

As for bird nests versus houses. I've wondered the same, yet there's something detracting about how artifical a house, bridge, etc. looks versus a bird's nest. So if we cover our homes in twigs...

Candy
2004-Dec-15, 01:46 PM
PS: Found a link:

On Sunday the Austrian Felix Baumgartner, known for crossing the Channel, jumped from the highest bridge in the world (maximum height at the top of the pillars: 343 metres), which was recently completed near Millau in southern France. In order to avoid bridge security, the 34-year-old skydiver climbed a 230-meter-high column unsecured in the middle of the night.
You will never see me doing that! :o

Amadeus
2004-Dec-15, 01:59 PM
Goes along with my question of if a bear can, uh, go in the woods, why do I have to pack mine out in a baggie?

Because you won't rip someones arm out of their socket when you're asked!

Ut
2004-Dec-15, 03:39 PM
It does spoil the landscape, IMO, no matter how beautiful it is. Another fallus to celebrate manīs vanity.

I still maintain that there really isn't much there to spoil. Perhaps I'm biased, or jaded, or both, but I just think that the landscape by the bridge is nothing compared to stuff like this. Also, the bridge really adds to the scene when the clouds are rolling through there.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 03:45 PM
Without the bridge it wasn't mighty spectacular, but these green rolling hills have their charms too IMO. The landscape has a subtle beauty, not an overwhelming one.

Ut
2004-Dec-15, 03:48 PM
Everything has subtle beauty.

I like the crystal fantasy bridge thingy, but I just thought of something: That valley really needs an old timey, stone built, medievalesque bridge. Something less majestic, and more knighty.

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-15, 04:04 PM
Something like the Tunkhannock Viaduct (http://www.northeastpennsylvania.com/Wyoming/NicholsonViaduct/Bridge6.jpg)?

ASCE page (http://www.asce.org/history/brdg_thannock.html)
Another (http://homepage.mac.com/jaf/PhotoAlbum19.html)
one more (http://www.newyorkrailroads.com/nicholson/)

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 04:12 PM
I'm not sure they can build that 300m high...

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-15, 04:28 PM
Hey, with enough concrete you can build anything. :D

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 04:36 PM
A civil engineer, are you? :D (this is funny because our laugh-song for the civil engineers is just "cooooooon-creteconcreteconcrete!")

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-15, 04:50 PM
Nah, I'm a flangehead (mechanical). I'm just into railroading and the Tunkhannock is the largest concrete railroad bridge in the world.

Civil engineers do it with concrete.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 04:55 PM
They do indeed :)

Candy
2004-Dec-15, 04:55 PM
I’m not an engineer at all, but I find this conversation most exciting. :P

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 05:58 PM
Actually our laugh-song for the civil engineers is "beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-tonbetonbeton!!" which translates into "cooooooooon-creteconcreteconcrete!!". It is a tradition here for the faculties to sing at each other at the start of the academic year. Each faculty has laugh-songs against other faculties. An important difference between civil engineering and aeronautical engineering is that we (very close to) never use concrete in a plane or spaceship, while the civil engineers use little else. And it shouts really loud :)

Ut
2004-Dec-15, 06:14 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of this (http://www.oldprints.co.uk/prints/wa/images/91201.htm), only on a supreme scale. Maybe even with people with swords to acost people crossing on foot.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 06:16 PM
Not ALL of France needs to be turned into a Carcassonne, they kind of passed that period...

Ut
2004-Dec-15, 06:20 PM
8-[
Yes it does.

Captain Kidd
2004-Dec-15, 06:44 PM
An important difference between civil engineering and aeronautical engineering is that we (very close to) never use concrete in a plane or spaceship, while the civil engineers use little else.Interestingly, to increase tractive effort, locomotives are ballisted with concrete. The museum I'm in is restoring a passenger diesel and since we're not going to be needing the steam generator to heat the coaches, and the original is a pile of rust flakes, we're taking (vacuuming) it out. We need equivalent weight there so... knock up a few forms, and start pouring the concrete.

kucharek
2004-Dec-15, 07:34 PM
An important difference between civil engineering and aeronautical engineering is that we (very close to) never use concrete in a plane or spaceship, while the civil engineers use little else. And it shouts really loud :)
In summer, pupils of the Albert Einstein School, Ettlingen (near Karlsruhe), and students of building at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences together designed and built a working concrete car.
http://www.fh-karlsruhe.de/servlet/PB/menu/1015748/
Two years ago, they built a canoo from concrete.

It's only a rumour that together with the university's glider club (http://www.akaflieg.uni-karlsruhe.de/) they are now going to build a concrete sailplane (though maybe a concrete sailplane still glides better than a space shuttle orbiter). :-)

Harald

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 07:45 PM
I don't know what type of concrete they will use for a sailplane, that might be one bridge too far. With a car or a canoe the weight doesn't really matter (for the primary function). The weight is an extremely important factor in a sailplane.

the Shuttle orbiter ain't that bad a glider actually. Of course the dedicated gliders have a much better glide ratio (up to 20 times better).

I would like to see a concrete glider! And real concrete, no artificial plastic-like sissy concrete!! And if possible a glide ratio of more than 1/1 too (which is the shuttle, and means a 45° slope).

If would be able to lift off the ground when being pulled at 60 km/h with a man inside, I would be very surprised. (concrete fuselage, tail and wings!)

Candy
2004-Dec-15, 08:47 PM
8-[
Yes it does.
:lol:

sarongsong
2004-Dec-15, 10:42 PM
They'll need a song for Tony Bennett, Simon & Garfunkel or somebody to sing about it.

pghnative
2004-Dec-15, 11:13 PM
Yeah, the bridge is pretty and all -- very Wizard of Oz -- but I must say, I'm not all that impressed by the landscape. The bridge seems a little too elequent for its surroundings.I'm a bit puzzled. The surroundings seem to have a rather gentle slope. Why didn't they just follow the surroundings, and build the bridge lower? Seems like over-engineering to me.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-15, 11:21 PM
1) it probably looks like [BLEEP] as far as I imagine it.
2) it doens't look strong, people get more fear of that than from the height (the view to the depth below is a bit blocked by the railing)
2) even gentle slopes are difficult to take head-on, especialy trucks and cars with caravans would first have a dangerous descend (on a bridge!)followed by a long and still quite steep climb. The brigde is over 2 km long mind!
3) Building a non-straight bridge seems harder to me, as the forces on the supports aren't equal left and right, they tend to push the supports over. I guess it requires less engineering overall to build a straight bridge. Also the cable system seems easier on a straight bridge. On a negatively curved bridge, one end of the cable sections would tend to go out of tension due to part of the resulting load on the supports.
4) If you meant just putting a road on the ground, and a small bridge over the river: the flanks of the hills are way too steep to take head-on. A ground level road would require lots of turns to make a gentle climb or descend, and hence wouldn't solve the traffic bottleneck problem. A straight continuation of the road does. But it requires a straight bridge.

Argos
2004-Dec-16, 11:26 AM
I'm a bit puzzled. The surroundings seem to have a rather gentle slope. Why didn't they just follow the surroundings, and build the bridge lower? Seems like over-engineering to me.

Thatīs what I think! :)

Behind pharaonic enterprises like that, happy contractors lurk... National pride must have played a role, too.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-16, 11:36 AM
I can't see how you think the slope is gentle?

http://www.viaducdemillaueiffage.com/

Look at the eastern slope: it takes 2 poles (615m distance) to get to a full 245m above ground levelm high pylon. That's a 40% slope!! You aren't making a road, but a rollercoaster!!

Nicolas
2004-Dec-16, 11:40 AM
http://www.leviaducdemillau.com/icones/millau/bg-col-gauche.gif

Unclear image, though it does show that "gentle" eastern slope...

Bawheid
2004-Dec-16, 01:52 PM
The reason it is so high is to avoid the town completely. Millau is a bottleneck of three roads, including the main road south with a single bridge. The new bridge will carry the (soon to be completed) motorway so there is no need to drop into the valley, just to climb out again.

It is worth a look at Norman Foster's (http://www.fosterandpartners.com/) website, he has done some good stuff, including the new Reichstag.

Wally
2004-Dec-16, 01:57 PM
this thread brought to mind kinda the opposite feat of engineering here in the States. The Eisenhower Tunnel (http://www.dot.state.co.us/eisenhower/description.asp) located on I-70 west of Denver CO. This tunnel takes you right thru the Mountains that form the Continental Divide (the point where water sheds to the Pacific rather than the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico). 1.7 miles long, and at one point you have approx. 1,500 feet of mountain on top of you! It's also the highest point of any US interstate at approx. 11,170 ft. above sea level. The tunnel allows you to avoid Loveland Pass, a hairpin turning, heart-stopping, several mile long 2 lane road that goes up and over the Divide.

Once you cross thru the tunnel heading West, you're in a completely different world. You leave the plains of Denver and come out in the Mountainous wonderland of the Rockies. if anyone gets the chance to drive the stretch of I-70 between the tunnel and Glenwood Springs to the West, I highly recommend it. . . Absolutely beautiful.

Nicolas
2004-Dec-16, 02:01 PM
The reason it is so high is to avoid the town completely.

That's the reason they built the bridge. And is so high because when you build a bridge, you can't (realistically) give it a negative curve. You build a straight bridge, or you build no bridge. No bridge is the current situation, with as result all traffic going through the valley and getting stuck in the town.

Candy
2004-Dec-16, 02:13 PM
this thread brought to mind kinda the opposite feat of engineering here in the States. The Eisenhower Tunnel (http://www.dot.state.co.us/eisenhower/description.asp) located on I-70 west of Denver CO. This tunnel takes you right thru the Mountains that form the Continental Divide (the point where water sheds to the Pacific rather than the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico). 1.7 miles long, and at one point you have approx. 1,500 feet of mountain on top of you! It's also the highest point of any US interstate at approx. 11,170 ft. above sea level. The tunnel allows you to avoid Loveland Pass, a hairpin turning, heart-stopping, several mile long 2 lane road that goes up and over the Divide.

Once you cross thru the tunnel heading West, you're in a completely different world. You leave the plains of Denver and come out in the Mountainous wonderland of the Rockies. if anyone gets the chance to drive the stretch of I-70 between the tunnel and Glenwood Springs to the West, I highly recommend it. . . Absolutely beautiful.

Dumb thought: I can't wait until China becomes a "democracy". I understand their terrain is exactly like the US. They must have some really awesome scenery! :D

Nicolas
2004-Dec-16, 05:12 PM
And they have played around with stone (the wall) and concrete (three gorges dam) before!! How's that dam going by the way?

Candy
2004-Dec-17, 02:43 AM
And they have played around with stone (the wall) and concrete (three gorges dam) before!! How's that dam going by the way?
I didn't say the Chinese would be the ones building anything. #-o

Nicolas
2004-Dec-17, 12:02 PM
No you didn't, but all awesome scenery just HAS to be spoiled by huge structures!! (dumb thought #2: the law of awesome sceneries) :)

kucharek
2005-Jan-03, 03:33 PM
Bridge seen from satellite:

http://www.esa.int/export/esaEO/SEMQDE3AR2E_index_1.html

Nicolas
2005-Jan-03, 04:40 PM
http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/EarthObservation/itesa1_7575090_H.jpg

Surreal... 8)