Friday, March 26, 2010

Chilean Bridges: Puente Ferroviario de Lontué

Another railroad bridge viewed from the side of Route 5 Sur in Chile. The railroad bridge (along with the adjacent highway bridges) was damaged by flooding of the Rio Lontué in 2008, effectively dividing the country in two. The railroad bridge looks the same so they must have been able to pick it up and set it back on it's piers.

Charles Darwin also writes about the Rio Lontué in his journals and speculates that an earthquake in 1762 caused a landslide and dam across the Rio Lontue. The water eventually burst through spreading boulders throughout the area. This may be the first description of debris dams that continue to cause damage following earthquakes. He further speculates that such debris can now be found atop mountains suggesting that parts of Chile have been uplifted over time.

The Puente Ferroviario de Lontué is a three span through truss. The end spans have a curved top chord while the center span has a straight top chord, which seems to be a common arrangement.
Creative Commons License
Chilean Bridges: Puente Ferroviario de Lontué by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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