Stairway To Where?

What is going on here? If you look at these stairs there doesn’t seem to a whole lot going on. They are down the side of a bridge over the river Medway. You can’t see that to actually get to this point you have to climb over some armco from the path but that’s not my biggest issue with them.

Stairway To Failure
Stairway To Failure

If you look more closely you will see that there isn’t a route to the left at the bottom of the stairs. There is just a slope. No flat path for walking on. Just slope. I don’t understand what the intentions of the designer were. The fence implies there should be a wlakway. The reality is there isn’t one. Maybe I’m just not meant to be there.

NW Short Cut

I have communicated with you a little about the new bridge. I have now had the chance to test distances to the Post Office where, brilliantly, parcels are taken even though it’s far away by road.

The old distance is shown below. So, 15km is just over 9 miles.

post office old route

The new distance, measured via car this morning, is 4.8 miles. The new bridge saves a journey distance of four and a half miles. I think that’s quite substantial.

Hell Or High Water

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching a classic tale of cowboys robbing banks. But, I get ahead from myself. I went to the cinema. I watched a film. Possibly the best bit was using a new bridge to get there, see this communication. I had tweeted the following:

Well the new journey was about 11.5km. So it’s a shorter distance and has some lovely corners with adverse camber and brows of hills, however if you get stuck behind someone slow it’s incredibly boring. The normal route would include some motorway and nice accelerating corners, this new route was good as long as there’s no traffic.

You should refer to this communication if you don’t know how my rating system works. This is the first 8/10 for quite a while! It was a good film.

The story was a classic cowboy story with two brothers robbing banks. The horses were replaced by cars but all the other elements were there. The music complimented the filming wonderfully and the acting was great. The pace was suitably relaxed. I really enjoyed it. There’s a lot to worry about with the modern audience if they can’t cope with a film of this pace. I’m not saying they can’t cope just that most films aren’t like this one. Perhaps modern superhero films could learn something from this film.


Took this picture while waiting to go into the cinema. I like bridges. When you think about the things we can do as the human race when we put our minds to it, it’s remarkable. We can travel with ease and talk to practically anyone in the world via a small device we can carry. On the negative side we don’t yet have the political ambition to stave off anthropogenic climate change, or even to make sure the end result is the least worst possible outcome because we really are changing our planet and beyond recognition.


Bridge Construction

When I was in America I did some running. On my last day in the USA I ran past some bridges. While running up to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge I noticed a curious linkage design in the side of the bridge.


In the UK the majority of bridges are built on rollers so that when they expand in the summer, warmer months they don’t crack and break apart. These rollers can be observed from under the bridge and the expansion joints can be seen on top of the bridge.

This particular bridge in Washington DC is hanging from the cantilever end parts of the bridge to allow expansion in the structure. A close up below:

Bridge Expansion

A close up with my annotations:


This is quite a clever solution to bridge expansion. I also think it is quite clear that I would make an excellent dinner guest, not boring at all! One of the things I love about civil engineering is that it is Meccano but just bigger. Big bolts, big nuts and big cables!