Since my wife (Engogirl) is an engineer, specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), we often visit bridges and dams just to geek over them. We go to so many dams and bridges that I even have categories for them in the menu on the left.
When my wife was at university I used to help her with her assignments (mainly taking photos of dams and drains) and over time I have learnt to enjoy and appreciate such seemingly unlovely concrete things. As a matter of fact, even the drainage by the side of the road have become interesting because I know more about the reasoning behind their design and what goes into making them. I now notice things like the size of the slots in the drainage grates or the distance between the drains and the camber of the roads and how it affects the placement of the drains.
Last Sunday we decided to go and have a look at the new Sea Cliff Bridge between Coalcliff and Clifton just south of Stanwell Park where Lawrence Hargrave conducted his famous experiments in aeronautics with box kites. Bald Hill in Stanwell Park, which overlooks the bridge is still a very popular place for people wanting to enjoy the reliable up-drafts. On any weekend, there will be plenty of people who are either hang gliding, flying model gliders, or just plain gawking all along the sea cliffs in that area.
For years there has not been a reliable way to follow the coast by road from Sydney to Wollongong, due to the steep terrain which caused frequent rock slides. After a very big rock fall in 2003, the original road was permanently closed and the Sea Cliff Bridge was commissioned. Two years and $45 million later, the bridge was completed in December 2005.
The coastal road between Sydney and Wollongong has now become somewhat of a tourist attraction thanks to this beautiful bridge. It’s quite a nice walk across, as the bridge as it affords spectacular views of the pounding ocean below.
The Sea Cliff Bridge is such a sexy piece of engineering, that it has been featured in various ads and shows about engineering. Here’s two videos. The first video is a Shell and Ferrari commercial which shows an F1 driving over the Sea Cliff Bridge in the rain about halfway through the ad.
The second video is a jingoistic and sexed up Australian engineering association promo about various engineering projects here in Australia it has some nice footage of the bridge, about halfway through.