SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Golden Gate Celebrates 75th with Help of Engineers
from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)
SAN FRANCISCO (Associated Press) -- The Golden Gate Bridge was heralded as an engineering marvel when it opened in 1937. It was the world's longest suspension span and had been built across a strait that critics said was too treacherous to be bridged.
But as the iconic span approaches its 75th anniversary over Memorial Day weekend, the generations of engineers who have overseen it all these years say keeping it up and open has been something of a marvel unto itself.
Crews had to install a bracing system after high winds lashed and twisted the span in the 1950s, raising fears it would collapse. Years later, they had to replace vertical cables when they were found to have corroded in the bridge's damp, foggy climate, potentially destabilizing the span.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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