The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Cape Cod and Bayonne Bridge

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Small, yet wiry, the Cape Cod tug at the Port Elizabeth Newark complex with the Bayonne Bridge catching the vermillion of a setting sun. I’m informed that Cape Cod is 326 GT, and was built in 1967. The Bayonne Bridge was built in 1931, on the other hand, and is the 4th longest steel arch bridge upon the entire Earth. The bridge connects… Staten Island… to New Jersey.

There is some debate amongst maritime authorities as to the future of the structure, as its 266 feet over water level height restricts entry of the newest Panamax freighters into the dock and gantry facilities.

from wikipedia

Ammann, the master bridge builder and chief architect of the Port Authority, chose the steel arch design after rejecting a cantilever and suspension design as expensive and impractical for the site.

The eventual design of the bridge called for a graceful arch that soars 266 feet (69 m) above the Kill Van Kull [3] and supports a road bed for 1,675 feet (511 m) without intermediary piers. The total length of the bridge is 8,640 feet (2,633 m) with a mid-span clearance above the water of 150 feet (46 m). The arch resembles a parabola, but is made up of 40 linear segments.

The design of the steel arch is based on the Hell Gate Bridge designed by Ammann’s mentor, Gustav Lindenthal. Gilbert had designed an ornamental granite sheathing over the steelwork as part of the original proposal, but as in the case of the George Washington Bridge, the stone sheathing was eliminated in order to lower the cost of the bridge, leaving the steel trusses exposed. It was the first bridge to employ the use of manganese steel for the main arch ribs and rivets.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

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