Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New York City's Bridges: Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges (2)

Both the Triborough and the Hell Gate Bridges have architectural details without structural purpose.
The Triborough Suspension Bridge has vertical members between the tower struts and finials at the top of the tower legs that make the bridge resemble a piece of Arts-and-Crafts furniture.

The arch on the Hell Gate Bridge has a reverse curve at the ends to give it a more interesting shape without improving its strength. Moreover, the stone towers at the ends of the arch serve no purpose.
Engineers often feel obliged to dress up their bridges in architectural details that do little or may even detract from their structural form. This is discussed in detail in 'The Tower and the Bridge," by David P. Billington.
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New York City's Bridges: Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges (2) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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