Both bridges are of the about the same length, one 72 feet long, the other about 80 feet.
One is about 3,500 years old. The other is still being built.
Before it was occupied by Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria or Greece, the Hellenic Peninsula was the home of the Mycenaean civilization. Their’s was a sophisticated civilization with a written language, art and architecture to rival any such existing in the 21st century. Archaeologists say the Mycenaean civilization collapsed about 1,100 B.C., and, as in many things, the archaeologists have many theories about what brought them down. Natural disasters, hostile invasion from the sea, and climatic changes may have been factors.
Anyway, before their demise the Mycenaeans built the 72-foot long bridge near the ancient city of Arkidiko in the Peloponnese. It was built of stone using an architectural technique known as corbeling — offsetting successive courses of stone until they meet in the middle forming an arch. It was built for use by chariots. Not many of those around in 2015, but the Arkidiko Bridge is still in use today for foot and light vehicular traffic.
The newer bridge is about eight feet longer than the one at Arkidiko. It is being built of steel and concrete on Oxford Road in New Albany and crosses a water course very similar in size and shape to the one spanned by the bridge that is 35 centuries old.
The 80-foot bridge in New Albany is expected to be finished in August.
The older bridge was built by skilled human labor, draft animals, and simple tools utilizing the lever principle.
The one in New Albany is being constructed with skilled human labor and huge machines that are powered by distilled petroleum. The support of the New Albany bridge is provided by pilings constructed with steel I-beams that were driven into the stream bed with a 3,500-pound mechanical hammer. The pilings are driven into the earth until they rest on solid rock.
While the pilings were being driven an inspector watched closely, quite literally counting the hammer blows after the pilings struck rock and using a mathematical formula to calculate whether the rock density was sufficient to bear the required load.
The bridge on Oxford Road is being built by Steel-Con, Inc., which submitted the low bid of $169,939.
Those who claim to know say the Arkidiko Bridge has been in continuous use longer than any other bridge in the world. With that in mind, we will try to remember to ask city officials what kind of warranty Steel-Con gave them on the new Oxford Road bridge.