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The Structural Engineer

To the Editor of The Structural Engineer. Sir,- I have read with a great deal of interest the article contained in the March issue of The Structural Engineer, written by Mr. Alfred Bossom, on “The Problem of the Skyscraper,” and also the discussions of your members on that article.

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The Structural Engineer

The investigation of the effects of impact on the members of highway bridges is a considerably more complicated matter and the results less susceptible of accurate interpretation than in the case of railway bridges. In the latter it is fairly well established that the principal causes of impact are those due to unbalanced driving wheels and cumulative vibration at and near the critical speed of the travelling load. Such secondary causes as uneven track, defective rail joints, wheel tyres worn out of truth, pitching and rolling of engines, are largely capable of elimination by reasonably careful attention to maintenance and design of track and rolling stock. In the case of highway bridges, the wheel loads do not travel along well-defined lines nor vertically over individual members of the floor framing. The imposition of the load comes most frequently on some casual point or small local area of a floor panel or slab, and is thence transmitted to the floor members proper. The type of floor thus enters largely into the question, whilst relative smoothness of floor surface, possible obstructions, character of traffic and length of span to be loaded for producing the maximum effect further complicate the problem.

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The Structural Engineer

When I submitted the title of my paper it was my intention to limit my discussion to the design and construction of the Great Pyramid from the standpoint of the engineer designing and from the standpoint of the contractor building the structure. When, however, I came to the drafting of my thesis, I found that certain principles of design, and the generally high standard of excellence attained in the practical application of these principles required a fuller technical treatment. My paper would have been interesting enough without this fuller treatment. It would have failed, however, to establish as definitely intentional the principles of design to which I have referred. D. Davidson

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Author – Davidson, D

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