Why is the Auckland Viaduct called a viaduct?

Why is the Auckland Viaduct called a viaduct?

Original intent The Viaduct Basin was named after a failed proposal by the Auckland Harbour Board in the early twentieth century. It was intended along the lines of the basins prevalent in London. However, this name was not approved by the board so it is presumed they changed their mind.

After approval Byan Bay was suggested as an alternative but this too was rejected by the board. It seems they liked the sound of "viaduct" and so that is what it is now known as.

Auckland's other famous viaduct is the Tamaki Drive-Over Bridge which carries State Highway 2 over the harbour between downtown Auckland and Henderson. The original structure opened in 1969 and was named after its designer, William Armstrong. It was later renamed to the Tamaki Drive-Over Bridge after being replaced by a new bridge built a few hundred meters away in 1996.

The word "viaduct" comes from Latin via ferrata which means "with a way down" or "with a route". In English, a viaduct is "a large stone wall, fence, or building used as a crossing", first recorded in 1770. The original definition included any barrier "which divides one road from another" but this has been narrowed down over time to just mean a stone wall.

What does viaduct mean?

A viaduct is a long bridge or group of bridges that are often supported by a number of arches or spans between lofty towers. A viaduct's function is to carry a road or railway over water, a valley, or another road. There are several types of viaducts: stone-arch and brick-arch viaducts have been used for centuries; modern concrete viaducts can be either pre-cast or cast in place.

Viaducts were first built in Europe around AD 500. The word comes from Latin via (way) and decastum (ten mile stretch), thus meaning "a way across ten miles of land." Before the introduction of the viaduct, there was no practical way to cross large bodies of water. But with its rise in popularity, the viaduct has become an important component in transporting people and goods over these barriers.

In addition to roads and railways, viaducts can also carry power lines, gas pipes, and other infrastructure elements. Large-scale viaduct construction began in England in the 18th century and spread throughout Europe. In America, they were widely used to connect cities located on rivers. Today, many highways and railroads cross rural areas where there are no buildings close by; therefore, it is necessary to use viaducts to connect one side of the river/railroad track to the other.

Why was the Wharncliffe Viaduct built?

The viaduct was erected in 1836-7 to facilitate the inauguration of the Great Western Railway (GWR). It was also the first railway viaduct to have hollow piers, which a colony of bats that has since taken up home within appreciated. The GWR had been encouraged to build its line through Chard by the promise of an annual payment of £10,000, but when the time came for them to make good on this pledge, they found there was no money left to pay for the construction. So the company did what any sensible business would do today: They sent someone out to see if they could find some way to cut costs without compromising on quality. The solution came from one Thomas Harrison, who proposed using stone from an old bridge he'd seen for sale and had it shipped to Swindon. When it arrived, it wasn't quite what Harrison expected - the bridge was only half finished - but he still managed to get it for less than he'd paid for the other one. With a bit of elbow grease, he was able to complete it and earn himself a commission.

The GWR used the viaduct for nearly forty years until it was replaced by a more modern structure near Newbury. At that point, the original viaduct was given a new coat of paint and put back into service as a footpath bridge, which it remains to this day.

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Robert Pittman

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