The Magdeburg Water Bridge

August 15, 2011

Check this out.  Really cool architectural/engineering feat!!!

The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in Germany that connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal, and allows ships to cross over the Elbe River. At 918 meters, it is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world.

This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, As part of the unification project.It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. he photo was taken on the day of inauguration. 

To those who appreciate engineering projects, here’s a puzzle for you armchair engineers . . .  and physicists.

Question: Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic,
Or just the weight of the water?

Answer: It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of  the water! Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship, regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded.

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Construction of the water link was started as early as in the 1930s but due to the World War 2 and subsequent division of Germany the work remained suspended till 1997. The aqueduct was finally completed and opened to the public in 2003.

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