The new bridge, the one currently with no name at the side of Manchester Piccadilly Station is really starting to come along. I inspected the structure for the first time yesterday. I guess the first thing everyone will notice is the sweeping arch and be in awe of it. For me, I was drawn straight away to the concrete abutment on the west side. It’s triangular – with the point on the bottom! What a great use of design by continuing the line of the arch into the foundations. The line of the downward thrust exerted by the arch will naturally follow directly along the skewed edge of the abutment into the ground. The builders have saved money because they have only needed to reinforce half the area they would have had to historically, and the city gets an interesting conversation piece (though i’m sure no-one will ever notice it!).
Brilliant idea. Forget the main bits of the bridge – metal arches are ten-a-penny, go and have a look at the abutments!!