Joseph Baermann Strauss (January 9, 1870 – May 16, 1938) was an American structural engineer German descent, who revolutionized the design of bascule bridges. He was the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge.
Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.
A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances a span, or "leaf", throughout its upward swing to provide clearance for boat traffic. It may be single- or double-leafed.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km) strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to an artistic family of Jewish German ancestry, having a mother who was a pianist and a father, Raphael Strauss, who was a writer and painter.His pianist mother had an unfortunate accident which ultimately ended her concert career. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1892. He served as both class poet and president, and is a brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Strauss graduated with a degree in civil engineering.
Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.
The University of Cincinnati is a public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College, it is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati and has an annual enrollment of over 44,000 students, making it the second largest university in Ohio. It is part of the University System of Ohio.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ), commonly known as SAE, is a North American Greek-letter social college fraternity. It was founded at the University of Alabama on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South. Its national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, was established on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1929. The fraternity's mission statement is "To promote the highest standards of friendship, scholarship and service for our members based upon the ideals set forth by our Founders and as specifically enunciated in our creed."
Joseph Strauss had many hobbies. One of these included poetry. After completion of the Golden Gate Bridge he returned to his passion of poetry and wrote his most recognizable poem "The Mighty Task is Done". He also wrote "The Redwoods", and his "Sequoia" can still be purchased by tourists visiting the California redwoods.
He died in Los Angeles, California, just one year after the Golden Gate's completion. His statue can be seen on the San Francisco side of the bridge. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) in The Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Meditation, Crypt 6281.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is a privately owned cemetery in Glendale, California, US. It is the original and current flagship location of Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, a chain of six cemeteries and four additional mortuaries in Southern California.
Strauss was hospitalized while in college and his hospital room overlooked the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. This sparked his interest in bridges. Upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Strauss worked at the Office of Ralph Modjeski, a firm which specialized in building bridges. At that time, bascule bridges were built with expensive iron counterweights. He proposed using cheaper concrete counterweights in place of iron. When his ideas were rejected, he left the firm and started his own firm, the Strauss Bascule Bridge Company of Chicago, where he revolutionized the design of bascule bridges.
The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, originally known as the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. When opened on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet (322 m) main span. Pedestrians use the bridge to get between the sports venues in Cincinnati and the hotels, bars, restaurants, and parking lots in Northern Kentucky. The bar and restaurant district at the foot of the bridge on the Kentucky side is known as Roebling Point.
Ralph Modjeski was a Polish civil engineer who achieved prominence as a pre-eminent bridge designer in the United States.
Strauss was the designer of the Burnside Bridge (1926) in Portland, Oregon and the Lewis and Clark Bridge (1930) over the Columbia River between Longview, Washington, and Rainier, Oregon. Strauss also worked with the Dominion Bridge Company in building the Cherry Street Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge in Toronto, Ontario. in 1912 he designed the HB&T Railway bascule bridge over Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas (now hidden under an Interstate 69 bridge in the shadow of downtown Houston). His design was also exported to Norway where Skansen Bridge is still in daily use.
The Burnside Bridge is a 1926-built bascule bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, United States, carrying Burnside Street. It is the second bridge at the same site to carry that name. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 2012.
Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2017, Portland had an estimated population of 647,805, making it the 26th-largest city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous MSA in the United States. Its Combined Statistical Area (CSA) ranks 18th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.
The Lewis and Clark Bridge is a cantilever bridge that spans the Columbia River between Longview, Washington and Rainier, Oregon. At the time of completion, it had the longest cantilever span in the United States.
As Chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, Strauss overcame many problems. He had to find funding and support for the bridge from the citizens and the U.S. military. There were also innovations in the way the bridge was constructed. It had to span one of the greatest distances ever spanned, reach heights that hadn't been seen in a bridge, and hold up to the forces of the ocean. He placed a brick from the demolished McMicken Hall at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured.
Strauss was concerned with the safety of his workers. He required that a net be installed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge during construction. This net saved a total of 19 lives.
In actuality, Charles Alton Ellis was chiefly responsible for the structural design of the Golden Gate Bridge. Because of a dispute with Strauss, however, Ellis was not recognized for his work when the bridge opened in 1937.A plaque honoring Ellis is set to appear in 2012 for the first time.
The Mystic River Bascule Bridge is a bascule bridge spanning the Mystic River in Mystic, Connecticut in the United States. It carries vehicle and foot traffic directly into the tourist district of town via 33 ft-wide (10 m) Main Street.
An orthotropic bridge or orthotropic deck is one whose deck typically comprises a structural steel deck plate stiffened either longitudinally or transversely, or in both directions. This allows the deck both to directly bear vehicular loads and to contribute to the bridge structure's overall load-bearing behaviour. The orthotropic deck may be integral with or supported on a grid of deck framing members such as floor beams and girders.
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is a bascule bridge that carries Michigan Avenue across the main stem of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States. The bridge was proposed in the early 20th century as part of a plan to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and decorative work was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, which is also known as a "Chicago style bascule bridge". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark.
The Spokane Street Bridge, also known as the West Seattle Low-Level Bridge, is a concrete double-leaf swing bridge in Seattle, Washington. It carries Southwest Spokane Street over the Duwamish River, connecting Harbor Island to West Seattle. It has two separate end-to-end swing-span sections, each 480 feet (150 m) long. Its construction was finished in 1991, replacing an earlier bridge destroyed by a collision. It is named after Spokane Street, which itself is named after Spokane, Washington, which is named after the Spokane people.
The Henry Ford Bridge, also known as the Badger Avenue Bridge, carries the Pacific Harbor Line railroad across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island from San Pedro, to serve the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. It is located in Los Angeles County, Southern California. It was built to accommodate operations at the Ford Long Beach Assembly plant which opened in 1930 and was closed in 1959.
The Skansen Bridge is a 52-meter span bascule railway bridge located at Skansen in Trondheim, Norway.
The Cortland Street Drawbridge over the Chicago River is the original Chicago-style fixed-trunnion bascule bridge, designed by John Ericson and Edward Wilmann. When it opened in 1902, on Chicago's north side, it was the first such bridge built in the United States. The bridge was a major advance in American movable bridge engineering, and was the prototype for over 50 additional bridges in Chicago alone. The bridge was designated as an ASCE Civil Engineering Landmark in 1981, and a Chicago Landmark in 1991.
The Cherry Street Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge is a bascule bridge and Warren truss in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located in the industrial Port Lands area, it carries Cherry Street over the Toronto Harbour Ship Channel and opens to allow ships to access the channel and the turning basin beyond. There are two bascule bridges on Cherry Street. The other, smaller bridge, crosses the Keating Channel, while this bridge crosses the Ship Channel.
The St. Charles Air Line Bridge is a Strauss Trunnion bascule bridge which spans the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois.
The La Salle Causeway is a causeway that allows Highway 2 to cross the Cataraqui River at Kingston, Ontario. The causeway separates Kingston's inner and outer harbours. Construction of the causeway was completed on April 15, 1917.
Charles Alton Ellis (1876–1949) was a professor, structural engineer and mathematician who was chiefly responsible for the structural design of the Golden Gate Bridge. Because of a dispute with Joseph Strauss, he was not recognized for his work when the bridge opened in 1937.
The US 31–Island Lake Outlet Bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge in downtown Charlevoix, Michigan, that carries U.S. Route 31 across Island Lake Outlet. It is the fifth bridge to cross the channel there with the first being a pedestrian-only structure that was built in the nineteenth century. The bridge was planned in 1940, but World War II delayed the acceptance of bids until 1947. Construction finished in 1949 and the bridge opened to traffic in late June of that year. The bridge is part of the National Highway System.
The Grand Street Bridge was a double-leaf deck-girder bascule bridge in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States, that spanned the Pequonnock River and connected Grand Street and Artic Street. It was one of three movable bridges planned by the City of Bridgeport in 1916 at the request of the War Department during World War I. Construction was completed in 1919, but the delays surrounding the construction went to the Connecticut Supreme Court in case of Edward DeV. Tompkins, Inc. vs. City of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The court ruled in favor of Tompkins and awarded damages equal to the contract. In 1936, the bridge had excessive settling and required the replacement of its southeast pier. As part of the repairs, a new floor and electrical system were installed. In 1965, the floor was replaced with a steel grate on I-beam floor. In 1984, the eastern approach span was replaced and the northwest trunnion post was reconstructed. The bridge was closed in the 1990s and dismantled in 1999.
Eighth Street Bridge is a road bridge over the Passaic River in northeastern New Jersey, United States. Opened in 1915 as a bascule bridge, the bridge was fixed in place in 1977.
Market Street Bridge, also known as the Second Street Bridge, is a vehicular bridge over the Passaic River crossing the Passaic-Bergen county line in Passaic and Wallington in northeastern New Jersey. The double-leaf bascule bridge was built in 1930 and fixed in the closed position in 1977. It was reconstructed in 2002. It carries a 2-lane street and sidewalks in a late-19th and early-20th century industrial area along the river. An earlier structure built at the crossing in 1894 was damaged during the Passaic floods of 1902 and 1903 but survived.
The Seventh Street–Black River Bridge is a bridge carrying Seventh Street over the Black River in Port Huron, Michigan. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. It is the only single-leaf bascule bridge in the state of Michigan.
South Front Street Bridge is vehicular bascule bridge over the Elizabeth River in Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S. Located at river's mouth at the Arthur Kill, it is the first fixed crossing. Opened in 1923, it is the last surviving vehicular moveable bridge in Union County. The bridge is intact but has been out of operation since 2011 and closed to all traffic.
J. B. Strauss (1870-1938) invented the pivoting counterweight linkage used at the Eighth Street bridge, and he applied for a patent in 1905, the same year the first bridge of this type was built in Cleveland. That year he also founded the Strauss Bascule and Concrete Bridge Company in Chicago to market his bridge designs. Strauss went on to become the most widely respected moveable-span bridge engineer of the pre-World War II era. Strauss reasoned that if, unlike the traditional trunnion bridge, which operates like a seesaw and moves in a vertical plane on a horizontal steel pivot, the entire weight of the counterweight could be concentrated at the end (tail) of the moveable leaf, it would then be possible to use a lighter counterweight. Such an arrangement also meant a shorter tail end to the leaf, thus saving on materials that the "counterweight could be made in such shape that no pit is required to receive it when the leaf is in the upright position'" (Waddell, p. 704). The patented linkage, or arms, ensures that the counterweight will always move in a series of parallel positions and thus maintain the position of the weight at the tail end of the leaf.
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