Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Submerged Floating Bridge

Submerged Floating Bridge

Submerged Floating Bridge – First-of-its-Kind Crossing


Driving the 680 miles from Norway’s bustling southern port of Kristians and to Trondheim in the north would take around 21 hours in the car which is an average of 30 miles per hour. The route along highway E39tends to cross seven elegant though inconvenient fjords which are approximately seven ferry trips. An infrastructure project of $25 billion has been developed which seems to reduce the trip to only 10.5 hours by installing permanent crossing on those fjords by 2035.

 These waterways being wide where the largest seems to be almost a mile deep, a typical bridge would not suffice. Hence Norway has considered fording its fjords with an alternative which the world has not seen before, in the form of a submerged floating bridge. It’s been a fancy term for a traffic tube which is under around 100 feet of water and above hundreds extra. Senior engineer with the country’s public roads administration, Arianna Minoretti, stated that it is not actually that crazy.

As per their uncertain plans, the 4,300-feet deep, 3,300-feet wide Sognefjord could be the appropriate applicant for this first-of-its-kind crossing. The structure is said to be made up of two curved of long concrete tubes of 4,000-foot, one for each direction, which would be hanging 65 to 100 feet below the surface.

Design Provides Advantage over Saner-Sounding/Conventional Alternative


Platforms on the surface would be holding up the tubes, wherein the connecting tethers would be keeping them stable. The structure could also be fastened to the bedrock below for the purpose of additional stability. Minoretti has commented that driving through one of these would feel like driving through any other tunnel.

The designs provides sufficient advantage over saner-sounding, conventional alternatives and rough weather would not interfere with the underwater structure, according to Minoretti, so Norway’s more rural inhabitants would not get stranded. She comments that `having this connection would mean that people there would not have to wait for a helicopter to go to the hospital’.

Moreover Norway has also been considering building a suspension or floating bridge over the water which would either mess with the Navy ships that tends to train sometimes in this water and ruin the regal, delicate and extremely bankable beauty of the fjords.

Serious Issues/Structural Questions


Engineers state that a floating tunnel forestalls those issues and would not be more expensive than the saner-sound, conservative alternatives. Henry Petroski a Duke University civil engineer, specializing in bridges states that `this idea of Norway is a kind of an intermediate technology of things which have been done before.

The structure has utilised concrete constructions techniques from tunnels, platforms from floating bridges and tether technology from offshore oil platforms. Minoretti has said that for an engineer working on this structure, it seems like being on the Discovery Channel each day.

However, there are some serious queries into the future and the Norwegians are yet working to fill up the geological blanks like `what do fjord sea beds really look like? Can the bedrock support the strong tethers needed to keep something like this from becoming a car-filled Subtle?

Besides these, there are structural questions also and Norwegians engineers have been busy calculating what type of wind and waves would a submerged floating structure handle and how the currents at various fjords could affect its movement.

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