Friday, April 11, 2008

Bridge construction in the modern era ...
Xerxes built a double bridge across the Hellespont around about 482BC. It took perhaps a year to construct the bridge which crossed a mile of water. In 1933, construction began on the Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge which were finished in 1936 and 1937 respectively.
In 2002, a retrofit of the east portion of the Oakland Bay Bridge began - the half that isn't technically challenging. The current
estimated completion date is 2013 for a bridge that will handle the same amount of traffic as the current bridge. Overruns have come to billions of dollars already. Yes, history is being made!

7 comments:

Delirious said...

My husband grew up in this area. When we moved here, approximately 30 years since he had lived here as a child, they were still working on a section of road over near Hercules!

Livingsword said...

Hi Looney;

Xerxes building materials were quite different, I am wondering what residence of the Bay area would think of a bridge held together by white flax, and papyrus….they may prefer more modern building materials like hemp…. LOL

I suppose another factor one would need to consider is that Xerxes was an absolute dictator, this changes how the money is handled…..hmmmm

Is Oakland planning on invading San Francisco?

Did you happen to cross Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge when you were here?

Looney said...

Hi LS,

Yes, we went across Lion's Gate Bridge. That was beautiful.

Since I am an engineer, what impressed me most about Xerxes' was his management technique. When the first bridge over the Hellespont was destroyed in a storm, Xerxes had all of the engineers executed. The second set of engineers was thus motivated to produce a better design.

I'll bet the Governator wishes something like that could be done to motivate the current engineers and construction crew.

Looney said...

Delirious, I have seen a lot of delays, but 30 years? It brings to mind the construction of cathedrals in the Middle Ages.

Livingsword said...

Hi Looney;

You are a structural engineer?

I am not sure if Xerxe’s actions would be categorized as management, perhaps more as “leadership”. LOL

Looney said...

My degrees are in "Engineering Science". This makes me a bit of a generalist, but earthquake engineering on structures is an area I worked in for a few years. Hmmm, leadership vs. management. Probably plenty of room for thought on this topic.

Livingsword said...

Hi Looney;

Engineering Science! Very cool….

We have been “waiting” for the “big one” here for awhile. We are supposedly overdue for a large magnitude geological event.

I did a piece on leadership vs. management as part of one of my Survivor China articles and it amazes me how many people come to that article after typing various business phrases into Google… These topics are part of my work….