As most people may know, Florida is a peninsula, which in most
cases, we need bridges to get from one place to another. Two of the most
popular bridges here in the Florida are the Seven Mile Bridge and Sunshine Sky
Bridge, but did you ever wonder what makes these bridges so popular?
The Seven Mile Bridge began its construction journey in 1978 and
was announced open to everyone in 1982. Currently, this bridge has been closed since 2016 and will be open once
again next year, 2022, due to some adjustments that some engineers are having
made. The Seven Mile Bridge is 6.79 miles long, however with traffic, it can
take up to four hours to drive across.
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is also
one of the most popular bridges in Florida. This bridge is located in St.
Petersburg Florida, and was completed by 1987. It is a little over 4 miles long
but it is mainly known for being the longest cable stayed bridge in the world
and also being the steepest bridge here in Florida.
Both of these bridges were
engineered by Figg & Muller Engineers. So what is role does the engineer do
in this case? How do engineers make sure that a bridge like this is safe? Or
what do engineers do for bridges? Is that something a structural engineer does
or, if not, who?
The following are a few duties just to give you an idea of
what some of the engineers require them to complete. For designing a safe
bridge structure, the process begins with developing an understanding of the
problem and how it can be resolved, determining potential bridge loads,
combining those loads to determine the highest potential load, computing
mathematical relationships to determine the how much of a particular material
is needed to resist the highest load and knowing how to maintain it.
Engineers that are required to work on projects like these
include civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, geotechnical engineers, as well
as structural engineers.