Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Manhattan Bridge Timelapse
December 10, 2009 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Timelapse of the Manhattan Bridge shows the bridge flexing up and down as trains pass over it (SLYT). via
posted by carter (42 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've seen this posted a few times around the net over the past few months, but it's still cool.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:09 AM on December 10, 2009


I feel safer already.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:10 AM on December 10, 2009


DWISOTT
posted by Perplexity at 10:10 AM on December 10, 2009


My least favorite bridge in New York. Terminates in the most useless locations in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Not even fun to ride your bike over.

Awesome vid though.
posted by orville sash at 10:13 AM on December 10, 2009


Hey, the Manhattan Bridge may be useless for cars, and bikes, but the view out the window of the Q train as it crosses it is the best part of my commute (and, sadly, frequently the best part of my day...)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can't quite tell, but I wonder if the more abrupt bridge sways are connected with the trains crossing? It's like an excited kid jumping on the bed, which amuses me in a way I can't explain.
posted by greenland at 10:17 AM on December 10, 2009


Nice vid. I like suspension bridges, but not crossing them in high wind. Here's what I thought about while watching.
posted by jonesor at 10:17 AM on December 10, 2009


Well, it's called a suspension bridge for a reason.

More "fun" bridge vibration footage of the Millennium Bridge in London.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:19 AM on December 10, 2009


This stuff is why I have mad respect for civil engineers. Designing a static structure is one thing, but designing a purposely kinetic structure for varying and moving loads with inherent self-dampening is crazy shit. Especially so considering it was done before computers and calculators.
posted by rocket88 at 10:19 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any discussion about bridges always makes me think of this.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 10:26 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


This stuff is why I have mad respect for civil engineers.

'civilengineersrock' tag added.
posted by carter at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2009


My brain has decided to start singing "The Manhattan Bridge goes up and down, up and down, up and down! The Manhattan Bridge goes up and down, all through the day!"

I just thought I would attempt to share the torment.
posted by mayhap at 10:31 AM on December 10, 2009


Um... Orville... I'm with you on the Brooklyn side, but the Manhattan side opens up into a great section of China Town filled with awesome, cheap restaurants. Bayard st. has several great places and neat little shops. Moon House Restaurant/Shanghai Kitchen is great. MMMMmmmm.
posted by JBennett at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Millennium Bridge walkers seem to be taking it in stride.
No, seriously.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


A sign on Albert Bridge in London reads "All troops must break step when marching over the bridge."

From Wiki:

"The bridge acquired the nickname of "The Trembling Lady" because of its tendency to vibrate, particularly when used by troops from the nearby Chelsea Barracks.[16] Concerns about the risks of mechanical resonance effects on suspension bridges, following the 1831 collapse of the Broughton Suspension Bridge and the 1850 collapse of Angers Bridge, led to notices being placed at the entrances warning troops to break step (i.e., not to march in rhythm) when crossing the bridge; although the barracks closed in 2008, the warning signs are still in place today."
posted by MuffinMan at 10:35 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bayard st. has several great places and neat little shops.

Including this one, a tiny, obscure hole in the wall that sells pretty much only one thing: the Chinese beef jerky Jesus will eat upon his return.
posted by The Bellman at 10:39 AM on December 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


OK, cool link, but honestly, can't people just go to kottke.org? It's becoming a little much, no?

Manhattan Bridge, the Noughties, Chromoscope, the DFW fiction and grammar test...all off the top of my head from the last couple days...is it just me? If so I'll (probably) shut it.
posted by jckll at 10:40 AM on December 10, 2009


Don't worry; I have it on good authority that the Manhattan Bridge is made entirely of Weebles.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on December 10, 2009


Hi jckll, I hadn't realized that ... I was just bored and browsing Kottke. Anyway here's another one that's also been doing the rounds, a slow motion of the 'Drexel shaft' being demolished in Philadelphia, after it impacts at ~37s, you can see the air wave hit the glass curtain wall in the Cira Center behind.
posted by carter at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wasn't blaming you, just sort of putting it out there...
posted by jckll at 10:54 AM on December 10, 2009


jckll, it's bad enough that kottke reposts his own links time and time again.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:00 AM on December 10, 2009


I wasn't blaming you, just sort of putting it out there...

Then put it out there on Metatalk. The blue is not the place to shit in threads.
posted by splice at 11:02 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


During our bridge-building unit in 7th grade shop class, our teacher showed us a brief video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge spazzing out/breaking up, which, to this day, are images that for whatever reason I still find so incredibly aesthetically disturbing. This freaked me out to a slightly lesser degree but still... kinda horrifying.

Civil engineers do rock though, even if they engineer the stuff of my nightmares.
posted by hegemone at 11:13 AM on December 10, 2009


This same thing happens to reality after I've played Rock Band for too long.
posted by yeti at 11:22 AM on December 10, 2009


My least favorite bridge in New York. Terminates in the most useless locations in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Not even fun to ride your bike over.

I bike over it twice a week both ways. It's useless locations happen to be my home and my work.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:32 AM on December 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


is it just me?

Yes
posted by DU at 11:58 AM on December 10, 2009


I remember reading in The World Without Us that a lot of the NYC bridges will be around long after the skyscrapers fall. Since many of them were built before civil engineers had the math/ability to calculate all of the loads on the structures, they largely over-built the hell out of them. The biggest enemy to the bridges is road salt, which won't be much of an issue once we all die off.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:01 PM on December 10, 2009


The Manhattan Bridge is my favorite bridge, because of the view, and Chinatown, and the Q train, but god damn, I can never figure out how to get to the on-ramp to the walkway over the brooklyn side. I always wind up having to do something ridiculous involving going the wrong way up a highway connector and throwing my bike over the barrier.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:34 PM on December 10, 2009


I know ;)
posted by carter at 12:41 PM on December 10, 2009


I'd be concerned if the bridge didn't flex. Still cool to see it in time-lapse though.
posted by howling fantods at 12:41 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


oops i was supposed to reply to jckll
posted by carter at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2009


Many years ago I sat on the banks of the East River and looked at the Manhattan bridge while on LSD and mushrooms. It was wobbling and twisting, and I thought " how ironic that this unmovable structure is waving swaying". Now i see... It wasn't just the drugs!!!!!!
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2009


I remember reading somewhere that placing the train tracks on the outer edges of the span causes the bridge to flex more than if they were in the center, and this increases maintenance costs as the bridge needs to be inspected and repaired more often. This is probably why train service was limited for almost fifteen years (from the late 80s until about 2001-2) while one or the other set of tracks was being rebuilt. When the bridge was first built, the trains were shorter and lighter - as the trains got longer and heavier, the bridge flexed more and more.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 12:54 PM on December 10, 2009


What's wrong with biking over the Manhattan Bridge? Nice view, slight grade, and no pedestrian tourists in the bike lane.
posted by sentinel chicken at 1:19 PM on December 10, 2009


I'd be concerned if the bridge didn't flex.

Exactly. To quote an engineer who admittedly was talking about wooden roller coaster structure though honestly the philosophies are both very similar:

If it don't shake, it'll break.
posted by Spatch at 1:24 PM on December 10, 2009


Civil engineers do rock though

Civil engineers bore.
posted by IanMorr at 1:39 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone interested in bridges and engineering should read this book.
posted by drinkcoffee at 1:46 PM on December 10, 2009


When people crowded onto the Golden Gate Bridge for the 50th anniversary, it flattened, as described here. Are there any good pictures pictures of this? I'm not finding anything, and it seems like an interesting thing.
posted by alexei at 8:07 PM on December 10, 2009


Is this the work of terrorists?
posted by stargell at 8:09 PM on December 10, 2009


Here's a few of the Golden Gate, alexei. I'm not that bowled over -- it only looks flattened relative to its rather prominent normal upwards curve. Still though, glad I'm not the guy who had to make those calculations.
posted by breath at 9:37 PM on December 10, 2009


A friend once described to me the hardest part (for her) of the NYC marathon - the abject terror of feeling the Verrazano Narrows bridge bounce up and down as every one ran across. She had not been expecting it and thought she was going to die - totally threw off her pace.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:03 AM on December 11, 2009


"the abject terror of feeling the Verrazano Narrows bridge bounce up and down as every one ran across."

16th Avenue's 14th street overpass in Calgary has cars turning south onto 14th street sitting on the free span. Trucks going by will vibrate the bridge up and down several centimetres in real time. It's extremely disconcerting the first couple of times waiting to turn left and wondering if you are about to fall onto 14th street below.
posted by Mitheral at 6:17 PM on December 11, 2009


« Older Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper....  |  Pregnant Texan honors student... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments