Friday, August 13, 2010

Timber Bridge

While walking down to one of the remote beaches in Santa Cruz from my friend’s house, I came across a majestic man-made structure amongst tall Californian red woods almost trying hard to disguise and still could not escape my curious sharp attention. I had to stop by to take few snapshots for capturing the beauty of this Timber Bridge. It is fascinating to see 50 to 100 years old timber and wooden bridges designed by mankind. 
As I started thinking, I realized that the invention of the bridge was very similar to the invention of  the internet. People living on one side of the river could not have been working or trading with the people living on the other side of the river without the bridge. The bridge has played major role in the travel, trading and culture of people. It is one of the iconic victory of man over nature. They can be also very artistic, beautiful and breath- taking and innovative.

Timber Bridge is very early invention of our ancient civilization. The earliest designed timber bridge known to mankind is Julius Caesar’s bridge over Rhine River (shown below). He constructed it in well thought out method and it has been documented along with other roman architecture by Architect Palladio. Many bridges are still in existent in Europe and in the Eastern states of America.

Caesar's First Timber Bridge

Architects and engineers consider many aspects to design the timber bridge. The availability of materials, the span it has to cover, the installation method and the most important, function of the bridge. The development of timber bridges coincides with the development in sawn lumber and Hardware, industrial strength glue which created Glue laminated beams and so on. But now you do not come across many timber bridges in West coast of America. So if you encounter one of those old bridges, just enjoy and admire its beauty and the creativity.
Something from Indian Epic story- Ramamyana (4th century BC)-
Adam’s Bridge or Rama Setu
Rama Setu (Setu means bridge in Sanskrit) was built by Vanara (a group of monkey) between Lanka (Srilanka) and Rameshwaram to rescue Sita (Rama’s wife) from Ravana.

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