As mentioned in my last post, in late November I spotted an idea from the library at the Institute of Civil Engineers, to run a Bridge A-Z series during December. One letter each day, a sort of alternative advent calendar. As my dad was a civil engineer and built many bridges during his career, I’ve always appreciated the engineering and have often taken a detour to see unusual or breathtaking stuctures.

So, I wondered if I could complete an A-Z list using just photos from my own collection. Mission accomplished (with a little artistic license for some of the letters!).

Bridges A – J

A: A medieval bridge in Kent – AYLESFORD bridge

B: BASCULE bridge aka London’s Tower Bridge

C: Elegant CABLE-stay bridge by the architect CALATRAVA- the bridge of CHORDS in Jerusalem. Must look up more examples of his work! [bonus points for a triple C?!]

D: Close to home, some of the DECORATIVE DETAILS on Rochester bridge

E: Another one in Kent: EYNSFORD bridge – next to a ford in a picturesque village

F: the first of the bridges on my list with a UNESCO world heritage designation (also chosen by many of the other contributors to the #BridgeAZ challenge!) the FORTH bridges – from quite a distance!

G: Low GILL viaduct – now disused, seen from a train on the west coast main line

H: What else but the stunning HUMBER bridge

I: An (almost) INVISIBLE bridge: wire footbridge – green on green in Costa Rica (missing the iconic Ironbridge as it isn’t in my photo album….. yet!)

J: JETTY – a sort of bridge, you have to cross it to get to boats (I knew some of these would be tricky!)

Bridges K – S

K: Love the sinuous curves of the Sackler crossing in KEW gardens (another with UNESCO connections)

L: LIONS guarding Rochester bridge

M: A night view of MILLENNIUM bridge, Newcastle. [Would love to visit the MILLAU bridge – such a beautiful structure]

N: Getting close to NEWPORT transporter bridge

O: OLD bridge – Clapper bridge in village in Gloucestershire

P: Another bridge in a UNESCO WHS site – PULTENEY bridge in Bath

Q: Usually a hard letter to find, but not when you live close to the QEII crossing at Dartford

R: ROCHESTER – evening view towards the M2 bridge

S: Controversial to some – the SKYE bridge

Bridges T – Z

T: Also known as the squiggly bridge, but its formal name is TRADESTON bridge, Glasgow

U: UNDERNEATH the M2 and HS1 bridges over the Medway

V: VENETIAN bridge – aka the Rialto, crossing the grand canal

W: WELLAND viaduct – a bridge which spans two counties. How many arches??! [the caption confirms it is 82 arches – and one end is in Northamptonshire, the other in Rutland]

X: One of the hardest to find – I settled on this one, a bridge over an X-river – just a dip in a field in Kent remains

Y: YELLOW bridge over the Tyne – a view from the train when crossing the high rail bridge in Newcastle

Ending with triple Z: Rail bridge over the ZAMBEZI river border crossing between ZIMBABWE and ZAMBIA – can just be seen on the edge of this photo (as can the camcorder of my fellow passenger, who kept it glued to her face, almost blocking the window, for the whole trip……)

I really enjoyed seeking out those photos – and there were many more that I’d have loved to have included, but hadn’t taken my own photos of. I also enjoyed seeing the contributions from others who took part in this – especially the engineers who shared amazing photos taken from unusual angles – inside or high up on suspension bridges.

Inspiration from others

A special shout out must go to two contributors – Rochester Bridge Trust who managed to find an example relating to ‘their’ bridges for every letter and shared some great photos of the bridges over the river Medway in their care, plus @markhipwell1990 who shared a sketch each day – I really looked forward to seeing what he would choose to illustrate.

I also learned two new words – thanks to the Happy Pontist (who writes a fascinating blog) and @CivEngSue I discovered I too am a pontist and a gephyrophile.

Once we are allowed to travel again, lots more engineering feats to visit and take photos of 🙂

Original source – Julia’s Blog

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