So, on Tuesday’s we do something or ponder something new. I’m struck with an article I read in Sunday’s paper about the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. Did you see it – in the Parade magazine? It’s freaking amazing!
The official name of the bridge is the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (after the late Nevada governor and the late Arizona soldier killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire). After 9/11, commercial trucks were banned from crossing over the top of the Hoover Dam due to security concerns. Therefore, the need for a Bypass over the Canyon was heightened. It took three years to determine a location and raise funds ($240 million) for the bridge. (Think of the naysayers) Ground was broken in January 2005, with completion slated for late 2008. However, in September 2006, one of the huge towers collapsed, delaying the project substantially. (Again, more “I told you so”s and naysayers)
But it was built. The construction is a marvel. They excavated 25,000 cubic yards of rock and built 300 foot high concrete columns that served as the pillars that supported an elaborate cable system that supported the beginning of the arch. Then, the vertical concrete columns were also built. Construction was exacting, and adjustments were made along the way to ensure that the two ends of the arch would come within one inch of each other – can you imagine???? One inch? This is on a 1900 foot long bridge that is 900 feet in the air! Amazing!
But, watch this video animation of the construction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fTBaw435UQ
So, in honor of the new bridge, which had its dedication on Sunday, October 17, let’s raise a glass to folks who see a wide chasm and instead of believing that it’s impossible, they look at it as a challenge and say, “How can we make this happen?” It’s totally amazing! The engineer in me marvels at this!
Read more about the bridge from Sunday’s paper here: http://www.parade.com/news/2010/10/17-the-birth-of-a-modern-marvel.html
Or, visit the website here: http://www.hooverdambypass.org/
What new thing that others say is impossible will you try today? How will you keep the naysayers at bay?