Thursday, February 7, 2019

Episode #084: Pyramids are Hard

This week we had a very special guest(our dad) on the show to regale us with stories about moving and lifting very heavy loads in massive construction projects, the associated headaches and difficulties and, sometimes, outright disasters that can occur when trying to lift object A and place it on point B. His decades of experience allows him to explain very well how complex such operations are, and how much engineering and technology is required to complete them.
We compare some of the modern world's most powerful lifting machinery to what would have been required to complete some of the ancient megalithic structures still standing today, and even do some basic math to get the specs for a crane for building the Great Pyramid.

Spoiler alert: it would have to have been way bigger than anything we have today.

Pink Aurora
Steel Counterweight Boxes being lowered into the bridge towers
Bridge span being constructed on land

1400-ton completed bridge span being slowly rolled towards the barge

18-20 axle bridge span transports

Bridge rolling onto the barge

Ballast pump keeping barge level as bridge weight is added

Two ballast pumps working

Bridge span almost completely on the barge

The next day, 90-ft wide barge carrying 300-ft bridge span to the channel

Barge with bridge approaching the bridge towers

Completed bridge in the down position for railroad crossing

Completed bridge in the up position for channel traffic
Japan Imperial Palace walls coming out of canal

Parabolic curve of the Imperial walls

Relative Size image of Imperial Palace wall corner ashlar blocks

Crane sliding a concrete table out of the side of the building

UPS docking bay doors, pre-poured, rigged for lifting

Lifting a door--note the crane getting "light" on the back track

A lifted door

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