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Monday, 24 January 2005

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Che Sunday (Dr.)

The floating bridge concept was a mistake to begin with. Floating bridges by and large are constructed across bodies of water whose rise and fall are not very decernible and do not last for long periods of time. Such locations are usually inlets from the ocean such as bays whose waters are controlled by tidal motions.These tides come and go within 24 hour periods A good example is the one across the Puget Sound inlet in Seattle Washington. Though they are constructed to rise and fall with the level of water, care is taken to make sure that the magnitude of stress exerted on the anchors holding the bridge at both ends does not exceeds their carrying capacity. The Mungo river rises in the rainy season and drops in the dry season. The dry season lasts for up to five months, (November-March, too long a time span when compared to 24 hours. This is too lengthy a time period for a floating bridge to stay down and not have an adverse effect on its anchors. Lets bear in mind that no feasibility studies were conducted prior to errecting this bridge. Even though Forjindam is right that the fluctuations in water levels is always taken into considertion before errecting the bridge, in the case of the Mungo river, it should have taken no less than five years to gather data on the rise and fall of its waters before such a structure could have been put in place. This was not done.The peeling of tar on the bridge may just be a prelude to another tell tale of a disaster waiting to happen. It may havelittle or nothing to do with the quality of work done. It most likely is a signal of undue stress being exerted on the bridge. If the authorities are really out to avert another catastrophy on the bridge, they better send out an inspection team to look at its anchors, measure the length of space between its units that allow for expansion and contraction. This will give them some cluesthat the bridge is functioning within its allowable payload capability.

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