I still continue my craze over constructions and new man-made buildings by watching episodes in Discovery Channel.Well, my summer break is mostly spent watching TV and reading books, other times, I study Japanese language on my own to drive off boredom.This time, as I was tuning into different channels, I watched the Discovery channel’s feature on building the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the world’s largest trans-oceanic bridge, connecting two prime places in China in stuttering 36 kilometers long.
Wang Rengui, the chief designer of this bridge has got a lot to think before building this one.Well first, they would have to face natural obstacles.It is difficult to build the bridge against the turbulent sea and natural torrential rains.The powerful waves of the sea which Chinese people called ‘the mighty silver dragon’ took many lives of people in the past.The water has too much salt content in it – and salt water doesn’t mix well with steel, we know that.Plus, lies beneath is the corrosive natural environment of the sea, these natural gas deposits might corrode the steel piles.
But what’s amazing here was that they were able to surpass these hindrances.They refer these various problems first to the hydrologists, who in turned, made a prototype in a scale model to experiment the foundations of the bridge.And they have verified that it is expected that the bridge can withstand the natural occurrences like typhoons and storms.They made new chemical compositions for the steel piles, 6,000 steel piles to be accurate – the right concrete formula for them to last as long as hundred years.They both build the bridge at the two far ends, and crucial part in this situation was how they are going to meet in the middle in the right, precise position.This placement is very crucial to success, so they used the GPS system, enabling them to move the steel piles (through pile drivers) to the construction front to precision accurately against the swift currents of the bay.At the north end, they used what they call the Tian Yi Hao to lift and maneuver pieces of the bridge (if that’s the right term to say, I forget the term, sorry!) to place.Ah, I wish I can show them what they look like, they invented it right for the purpose of this bridge.At the south end they used a specialized truck that defies gravity.Lots of wheels, I say – that is, 640 wheels.It’s amazing that aside from this bridge, they were able to invent radically new technologies to build man made marvels.Lv Zhongda is the chief engineer and the prime mover for this one.
Oh well, this episode was just a replay and the bridge might be over now anyway.This bridge will connect two different places, and will make transportation convenient for Chinese people.They won’t have to sail in the turbulent sea, at least.