Monday, August 10, 2015

In Oregon Building The Yaquina Bay Bridge In Less Than Four Years While Celebrating A Hotpepper Birthday

Today is Elsie Hotpepper's 30th birthday. Happy Birthday, Elsie. I must check in to see if the Hotpepper is available for a Happy Birthday lunch today.

Changing the subject from a young lady leaving her twenties in the rear view mirror to the photo you see here.

A D/FW native is currently up north, on the Oregon coast. Hunting sea lions, among other things. Those are sea lions you see in the lower part of the photo, lounging on a dock in Newport. I do not know if this dock is in Yaquina Bay or not.

I do know that that is the Yaquina Bay Bridge you see in the background, which would make this yet one more of those popular bloggings about feats of complicated bridge engineering, over water, completed in less than four years.

Before I get to the bridge I must mention that the aforementioned D/FW native, currently in Oregon, is my source for this photo. Found this morning on Facebook. I had been told by the aforementioned  D/FW native that she did not want it mentioned that she had left Texas. I think I may have been forbidden to mention this on my blog.

So, imagine my surprise to check in on Facebook to see dozens of photos documenting what the aforementioned D/FW native is seeing up in Oregon.

Back to the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

This is one of the most recognized bridges on the Oregon coast. On August 5, 2005 the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the course of its construction around  220 workers worked to pour 30,000 cubic yards of concrete while fabricating 3,100 tons of steel. The bridge's pier pilings were driven to a depth of around 70 feet below the seabed.

From Wikipedia a description of the Yaquina Bay Bridge design elements...

The 600-foot main span is a semi-through arch, with the roadway penetrating the middle of the arch. It is flanked by identical 350-foot steel deck arches, with five concrete deck arches of diminishing size extending to the south landing. The main arch is marked by tall obelisk-like concrete finials on the main piers, with smaller decorative elements marking the ends of the flanking spans.The arches are built as box girders. The two-lane road is 27 feet wide, running inside the arches with two 3.5-foot sidewalks. The main arch is 246 feet  above sea level at its crown. Overall length of the bridge is 3,260 feet , including concrete deck-girder approach spans. The navigable channel measures 400 feet wide by 133 feet high.

The bridge uses Art Deco and Art Moderne design motifs as well as forms borrowed from Gothic architecture. The Gothic influence is seen in the balustrade, which features small pointed arches, and in the arches of the side span piers. The ends of the bridge are augmented by pedestrian plazas that afford a view of the bridge and provide access to the parks at the landings by stairways.

Construction of the Yaquina Bay Bridge began on August 1, 1934. The bridge opened to traffic on September 6, 1936,.

That's right, opened two years, one month and five days after construction began.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas, in October of 2014, a TNT explosion was the highlight of a pompous ceremony marking the start of construction of three, simple, little bridges being built over dry land to connect the mainland to an imaginary island, with an astonishing four year project timeline.

We are nearing a year since construction began on America's Biggest Boondoggle's three simple little bridges. I drove through the Henderson Street bridge construction zone on Saturday. Little has been built in almost a year. Some short pier like looking elements are sticking out of the ground which may be bridge related.

I could not find the other two simple little bridges under construction.

So, how was an actual complicated feat of bridge engineering, over a saltwater bay with tidal changes, completed in far less than four years, in Oregon, many decades ago, while in Fort Worth, with absolutely no feat of engineering design complications, no moving water, no great height, no chasm to span, take four years to build in the following century?

Taking four years seems bizarre, yet the locals do not seem to mind. Apparently this is just one more element of what is known as the Fort Worth Way.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

66 flood wall piers have been completed at the Panther Island Project. The piers will be part of the moat that will surround Grangerville.