Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 51

Humour me.  One last day on big structures.

Do you think you kinda know what your children are going to be when they grow up by the things they gravitate to when they're little?  Would be an interesting kind of life time survey to do, sort of like that 7UP series in the UK which records a group of children as they grow up.

So out of my children I have a very creative one (when he was 5 he decided he was going to make a film when he grew up about the sinking of the Wahine in Wellington harbour - watch out James Cameron - oh and BAGGSED - Will's idea peps, don't you go using it and making gazillions!)

I also have one who loves dinosaurs and bugs.  Hmmm, ok maybe my theory might need tweeking.

And I have one who loves maths, and who is fascinated in how things are built.  Only this morning we were discussing how builders put windows in houses.  I know, maybe I'm not the best person to be answering these questions, but his choices were limited.  I'm pretty sure he's going to have Engineer on his CV somewhere, possibly even Structural Engineer (you got me, I have no idea what the difference is).  For his birthday we gave him a book called Ask Me Anything and there is this great section called "Where can you drive above the clouds?"
 Ok, I'm not sure who I brought this book for.
The answer is the Millau Viaduct in France.  Which reminded me of a fabulous (ok, I actually AM going somewhere with this) documentary about how they built this bridge.  It was feat of freaking engineering brilliance.  Basically they built it from two ends over 2.5kms, eventually meeting in the middle with everyone having their fingers and toes crossed that it was going to be be at the same level.  Which it was!  Incredible!

So what is the highest bridge in the world?

Reaching 270m above the Tarn River in Southern France, at it's highest point, the deck of the Millau Viaduct is higher than any other road bridge in the world.  It is counted among the planets super structures and the most amazing feat of human design and engineering.  The Millau Viaducts curved roadway is 2.46km's long and 32m wide.  It is supported by 7 concrete pylons but appears to float  across the valley.  The meeting of the north and south decks took place on 28 May 2004, 270 m above the Tarn. The result of 21 months of work and a moment of intense emotion.  Check this out!

The Husband and I were in this valley before the construction began (hmm, probably 1998).

Is anyone else excited by this or is it just a me thing?

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