Multiple Systems

I’m going to interrupt the defunct-airport sideshow to return to the regularly-scheduled post. The picture above shows an almost-completed repair on a facade project. If you do this kind of work, this is an almost boring picture. It shows three waterproofing systems and implies a fourth, any one of which is theoretically capable of protecting …

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Whether You Want To Or Not

Some days, the new thing I learn that day is something that is annoying to the point where I regret wasting the 30 seconds it took to learn it. Today, I learned what a “half-hip Pratt truss” and I’m going to inflict it on anyone reading this. The two most common configurations in US bridges …

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An Example of Technology Diffusion

Binghamton, New York, is one of the few decent-sized cities in the state that’s off the path of the traditional transportation spine: New York-Albany-Buffalo. That inverted L path (north from NYC to Albany, west to Buffalo) was created by nature (the Hudson River is the first leg, the Mohawk River and its valley through the …

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Small And Close To Home

When picking bridge examples to discuss here, I make an effort to look all over the US. That’s partly to get some variety to the examples and partly to offset the natural tendency for a New Yorker to be extremely parochial. There’s a line by John Updike, which I’ve used in a number of presentations, …

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It Takes A System To Be Ordinary

The Wilson Shute Bridge over French Creek, south of Meadville, Pennsylvania is similar to a lot of the truss bridges I’ve discussed here. It was a steel Pratt through-truss, constructed in 1889, listed on the National Register and surveyed by HAER in 1988, and demolished in 1997. As the pictures below show, it made heavy …

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