Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Complex Space Needle Built In Less Than One Year While In Fort Worth...

Before we continue with our popular series of bloggings about feats of complex engineering which were completed in time frames which make the four year construction time line of the Fort Worth Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing seem even more bizarre, what with The Boondoggle's bridges being very small, simple bridges being built over dry land.

Okay, that above sentence ran on so long I forgot where it was going.

Now I remember, before we continue I must correct an error I made in yesterday's blogging titled I Wonder Why The Citizens Of Fort Worth Can Not Vote To Be Part Of A Global Transformation? Someone named Anonymous kindly pointed out that the link to the Atlantic Magazine article about the Bayonne Bridge reconstruction was incorrect. It is a very good article about a very complex feat of engineering, which I am sure you will find interesting.

Now, back to today's feat of engineering and its construction timeline.

The Seattle Space Needle.

Built as the centerpiece of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, known as Century 21, when the Space Needle was built no one opined it would become an iconic symbol of Seattle, or that it was any sort of signature structure.

But, that is what the Seattle Space Needle became, not only a signature symbol of Seattle, but an iconic landmark of the entire Pacific Northwest.

It is having seen actual iconic signature landmarks which can cause me to find it so bizarre when Fort Worth propagandists make claims along the line that three very ordinary bridges being built in slow motion are signature bridges which will become iconic symbols of Fort Worth.

How do those who spout this type nonsense do so with no cringe of embarrassment?

As you can see above, via a screen cap gleaned from Wikipedia, construction on the Seattle Space Needle began on April 17, 1961, and was completed December 8, 1961, in far less than a year.

The Seattle Space Needle was a far more complex feat of engineering than Fort Worth's simple Three Bridges Over Nothing.

For a few years the Space Needle replaced Seattle's Smith Tower as the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. The Space Needle is 605 ft. high and weighs 9,550 tons, with half of that weight underground, making the Space Needle strong enough to withstand 200 miles per hour Category 5 level hurricane winds and a 9.1 magnitude earthquake.

Unlike Fort Worth's Three Bridges Over Nothing the Seattle Space Needle was built with a sense  of urgency, what with it needing to be completed and ready for prime time by the opening of the Seattle World's Fair on April 21, 1962.

From the Wikipedia Space Needle article...

With time an issue, the construction team worked around the clock. The domed top, housing the top five levels (including the restaurants and observation deck), was perfectly balanced so that the restaurant could rotate with the help of one tiny electric motor. The earthquake stability of the Space Needle was ensured when a hole was dug 30 ft (9.1 m) deep and 120 ft (37 m) across, and 467 concrete trucks took one full day to fill it. The foundation weighs 5850 tons (including 250 tons of reinforcing steel), the same as the above-ground structure. The structure is bolted to the foundation with 72 bolts, each one 30 ft (9.1 m) long.

467 truck loads of concrete taking one full day to fill the Space Needle's foundation? What if the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle acted with that sort of urgency? Which one would think it would, what with the vision pretending to be a supposedly vital flood control and economic development project.

And might I add, the Seattle World's Fair and Space Needle came about without employing a Seattle congresswoman's unqualified son as project director.

Methinks if J.D Granger had been put in charge of the Seattle World's Fair project we would still be waiting for the fair to open. But in the meantime we would have likely have had some might fine Rockin' the Puget Sound Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in the crystal clear water of Seattle's Elliott Bay, but with no ridiculous bridges being built over actual water to any of the Seattle area's actual islands....

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