We don’t build bridges, but our casters play a key role in their construction at the factory level. That’s why they fascinate us, especially ones that seem to defy gravity.
Here’s the scoop behind some of the world’s most incredible bridges:
The Second Penang Bridge – Southeast Asia
On a good day, it takes drivers more than 20 minutes to cross South China’s 15-mile-long bridge. To construct it, engineers bored steel piles more than 400 feet into the sea. As for the bridge’s signature curvy looks? “To prevent drivers from getting drowsy, discourage speeding and improve road concentration,” said construction director Hamizol Ngah.
Gateshead Millennium Bridge - England
It seems plucked from a galaxy far, far away. Locals call it the “Blinking Eye Bridge” because of its titled appearance when it opens 40 degrees to allow boats to pass through. But the coolest detail? During construction in 2000, the world’s largest floating crane, the Asian Hercules II, lifted the entire bridge into place in one piece.
Baakenhafen Bridge – Hamburg, Germany
Since opening in August 2013, this German landmark has won just about every engineering award in Europe. Its sleek and curved orthotropic deck, supports weight and helps contribute to the bridge’s overall load-bearing capacity. What’s more, a 98-foot-wide block in the middle can be removed to accommodate über-tall ships that need to pass through. Das genius!
For more architectural wonders, sail on over to Gizmodo.