Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bridges of Sevilla

Armed with their new expertise in Statics, the students were ready to visit and appreciate three of the bridges that connect the neighborhood of Triana with the main body of Sevilla.

Triana Bridge

The Triana bridge was completed in 1852. At that time, it was the only bridge to span the Guadalquivir from Sevilla to its mouth on the Atlantic at Cadiz, over 200 km. It replaced a wooden boat bridge that dated back to 1171 and the Moors. From an engineering perspective, the Triana bridge is interesting because of the combined use of an arch with braced, circular structural elements.

Barqueta Bridge

The Barqueta Bridge also spans the Guadalquivir and was completed in 1992 for the '92 Expo. The single arch over the 180m span and the cable stayed road bed form an aesthetically pleasing and structurally efficient design. Both artists and engineers can appreciate this bridge.

Alamillo Bridge

The 200m Alamillo Bridge is the most distinctive of the Sevilla bridges across the Guadalquivir. Instead of cable stays to a supporting arch, the Almallio utilizes a huge counterbalancing inclined column. This is visually distinctive but probably not the most efficient from a strictly engineering point of view.

This is the first of several engineering oriented excursions that the class will be taking during July. Next week, we will visit the 20 MW Solar Thermal Energy Plant located near Sevilla. That should fit perfectly into our current study of thermodynamics.

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