How bridge beams bend A beam bends when it curves from an initially straight form. If we now think of a bridge consisting almost entirely of beams, such as the Front Street Bridge in Canada - shown in the picture to the right, then it will have just three chapters. The first chapter contains the main beams that span along the length of the bridge from one end to the other together with any crossbeams that hold the main beams together. You can see these cross beams being installed on the the East Toba Bridge also in Canada - the picture to the lower left. The second chapter contains the bridge deck on which people walk or vehicles travel as well as handrails and side barriers.

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But it was the perfect introduction to bridge engineering for me. Being a translator, I need to be able to understand any topic fairly rapidly. Some of my work had to do with bridges. In order to do a good job, I needed to read about bridges, but in a format that would be both accessible to laymen and technical enough to understand what the heck is going on in the bridge, what the structures are made of, how it works, how it I understand why another reviewer was very disappointed in this book.

In order to do a good job, I needed to read about bridges, but in a format that would be both accessible to laymen and technical enough to understand what the heck is going on in the bridge, what the structures are made of, how it works, how it holds together, what tension is, and so on.

This book did the trick. I learnt a lot about bridges, and I thought that David Blockley made the topic really interesting. I look at bridges in a different way now, grasping some of the necessary engineering behind it.

A great read that I would definitely recommend to anyone who needs to understand how bridges are built, what needs to be taken into account when building a bridge, and why the Millennium bridge in London wobbled! There is actual engineering with math, requiring algebra to understand in this book. I thought it would be more "entertaining" about the science and more expository about the art of bridges. But it was really neither. The author is clearly erudite, and writes well. There is an odd theme throughout the This book was not at all what I thought it would be.

There is an odd theme throughout the book where he tries to bring in some oddly-metaphysical, philosophical mumbo-jumbo about "building bridges" between people and disciplines. All that he had to say about that could have been said in a page or two, and should have been limited to that. All in all, this book was not worth my time to slog through, but I did simply because I felt the author was capable of having something interesting and valuable to say.

But, in the end, it was a fruitless exercise. All that I actually learned from this book could have been encapsulated on 20 or so pages. It also needed more pictures not to mention less diagrams. Surprisingly, the author mentions on page that he worked with Barry Turner, the author of a very well-respected, famous in its circle book "Man-Made Disasters" which I have reviewed here. Both of their books that I have now read are simply dense. Note that I am educated sufficiently to understand everything in both of their books.

But this author has failed to make the subject interesting. There is one, singular, informative although not earth-shattering, and certainly not original passage in the book, which I will quote here: "The distinction between processes and products is useful but can be distinctly unhelpful if it causes a neglect of change. In the past, most bridge builders were commissioned only to design and build a bridge.

The bridge was delivered, and nothing more. Not enough thought was given to long-term effects. The problem has been exacerbated by the highly fragmented nature of the modern construction industry brought on by the enormous increase in specialization.

The overview that Telford, Brunel, and the Roeblings were able to maintain was, and still is, often lost. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. Brooks terms the concept "conceptual integrity" and offers several examples, both of designs that suffered from its lack and of others that benefited from its presence such as the Reims Cathedral in Reims, France.

The "guiding mind" of David Blockley is the "architect" or "designer" of Dr. Brooks, and "the maker" of Dorothy L. Sayers The Mind of the Maker. It describes them as connecting human structures. Apr 17, Katie Hoyt rated it liked it I really did like this book a lot. I am a student very seriously considering going into structural engineering and, while the math and science of the book was elementary, it was lively, well written, and had much interesting history.

I greatly enjoyed reading it and I would highly recommend it. My ONLY issue with it was the last chapter. I found it both boring and confusing, as well as unnecessary. It put a damper pardon the pun!

Apr 04, Isabella Falcigno rated it did not like it I thought it would be a good idea to read this book since we are studying bridges in geometry and are suppose to create our own bridges with a design and everything. This book was terribly boring I have to stay and so difficult to read. The only good thing that I got out of this book was that it made a good source for my research in bridge class.

This book explored how a bridge works and talks about multiple bridges in the US.


Bridges: The science and art of the world's most inspiring structures

The 3 ways in which a material is strong The three ways in which materials are strong are pulling, pushing and sliding. Engineers and scientists use the term tension for pulling, compression for pushing and shear for sliding. Tension Imagine a tug of war between two teams with say 5 people in each team. Each team is pulling on a fairly substantial rope and there is a tag on the rope right in the middle. The referee of the contest watches the tag because the team that pulls it towards them a measured distance will win.


Bridges : The science and art of the world's most inspiring structures

Although it deals with technical matters, these are presented in a way that does not require a high level of mathematics or physics. It has 50 illustrations including many magnificent photographs. The structure of the book is as clear as the structure of the bridges that it discusses. After an introductory chapter it considers the four main types of bridge in turn; beams, arches, trusses, and suspension.

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