Monday, April 6, 2015

Shasta County, California Bridges: Sundial Bridge across the Sacramento River (9)

October 2014 (40.5921 Degrees, -122.3775 Degrees) Sundial Bridge
Continuing along the Sacramento River Bike Trail we arrived at Calatrava's 'Sundial' Bridge, a structure we previously studied during its construction and after it was built. Because we are currently discussing bridges in Shasta County (and because it's such an interesting bridge) I though we could discuss it some more.

Despite all of the headaches during the construction of this project, the bridge has become very popular. People are interested in a bridge that is also a work of art.Whenever I visit the park, there are lots of families walking on the bridge. With the nearby Stress Ribbon Bridge, the new Antlers Bridge,  and the Sundial Bridge, Redding and Shasta County have become a destination to see interesting bridges.

As shown in the photo above, it's a very eccentrically loaded structure. All the cables supporting the superstructure are on one side of the single tower, resulting in a torsional force that is resisted by the weight of the 3-legged base (on bearings). I think the complicated way the bridge resists the weight of the superstructure is part of what makes it attractive (a symmetrical structure would be less interesting).

The bridge is called a sundial because the tower points to the time on the ground as can be seen in the photo. For instance, I took this picture at just past 12 noon. There are some very nice videos using drones on YouTube that also show the sundial in action.
Creative Commons License
Shasta County, California Bridges: Sundial Bridge across the Sacramento River (9) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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