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Spectacular spans: New bridges attract visitors around the world | USA Today | Larry Bleiberg

Colorful online story in USA Today features my picks from Bridges, selections that highlight bridges that are structurally significant, aesthetically pleasing or that provide unique solutions to issues arising from environmental, political and social conditions. Ideally, all three.

One favorite is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory (2006) in Prospect, Maine, designed by FIGG Bridge Group. After FIGG conducted listening sessions with Mainers about the new bridge, they learned the community was most proud of its granite, some of which was used to build the Washington Monument. That monumental obelisk inspired the pylon design, one of which houses the tallest public observatory on a bridge.

"Bridges may be one of the oldest forms of construction, but the last few decades have seen incredible innovations, says Judith Dupré, author of the updated Bridges: A History of the World’s Most Spectacular Spans (Black Dog & Leventhal, $29.99). Since the first edition of her book was published 20 years ago, cable-stayed bridges, which use towers to directly support a roadway, have begun to rival suspension bridges for crossing long spans, she says. In addition, bridges are getting splashier with LED lighting and striking designs. “Engineers are coming up with solutions,” she says. “They are unsung heroes.” She shares some new favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY."

To see and read more: USA Today

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