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When it opened in 1914, The Panama Canal linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and cut thousand of miles from a perilous sea voyage.
It's a brilliant piece of engineering. The sea level and high tides are different on each coast, so three enormous sets of locks had to be built into the design to raise or lower the canal between one end of its 48-mile course and the other. It was built to handle 80 million tonnes of shipping a year: today it handles three times as much.
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The amazing thing about the Millau Viaduct, which spans the Tarn river valley in the South of France, is that it looks so good.
That's despite the fact that it's an immense feat of engineering. It's the tallest road bridge in the world, stretching for a mile and a half, and rests on huge concrete pylons that can be as tall as the Eiffel Tower (one is taller). But with its slender masts and sweeping curves, the Millau Viaduct is as attractive as it is impressive.
And was designed by the British ..:)
I have to marvel at most of these works, however given that there were no computers to help with complex mathematical calculation I think that the Pyramids in Egypt and the wall in China must really be viewed as feasts of engineering. Theories abound at how these structures were built, I presume labour was not a problem neither was safety on site.
As a former structural engineer I think my vote goes to the viaduct in southern France, more so as it was designed by a Briton.
some very nice posts here and some not . why are some people totally ignorant to others. its a shame when there's some pictures to comment on that the picture becomes a debate about religion and money . yes everyone can have their say but come off it you are really small minded or uneducated not to marvel at the structures on show. possibly jealousy plays a part in the fact we have never worked on or will ever work on such fantastic things . the fact is has any of the dummies thats commented ever been to see the bridges, dams , or hadron collider no i suspect so what do you actually know about these things. like when they were built (sometime before the guy in the bible duh) or who built it or why they built them mmm i will harbour a guess and say you know nothing . mysteries of the universe . the collider would you rather it was never built and the mysteries never unravelled or maybe what if in your lifetime they found the higgs boson or time travel possibilty or alien life ....... nope because im overworked blah blah blah and im not interested . well some of us are !!!!!
I went out to China a few years ago just before the Olympics. All that mattered was the Olympics and the dam. If it was in the way move it and anyone else has well.
I saw the dam being built, I saw how the poor people there had to work and how bad the conditions were. How everything was done manually because it was cheaper than machinery. I sailed down the Yangtze and saw how poor villagers' had been moved from their homes and put in high rised flats. If they were lucky and had a block higher than 9 levels they got a lift, if lower they had to climb to the top flat.Think of the old people struggling up those flights each day, who had never lived in towns before. I saw how a complete town had been cleared of human life and had to be smashed up because when the Yangtze had been flooded the traffic wouldn't be damaged when it travelled along the river. I saw how not even some of the ancient buildings are now under the Yangtze because they couldn't be bothered to relocate them. This from a country that is supposed to honour the ancestors
Yes it was impressive but at what cost.
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