History of Innovation

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1911: Pont le Veurdre – Vichy, France

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Innovation:  Concrete
Location: near Vichy, France
Year: 1911
Engineer: Eugene Freyssinet

Pont le Veurdre was a three span arch bridge spanning 238 feet that was constructed in Vichy, France in 1911. This was a reinforced concrete bridge that then allowed Freyssinet how to pre-stress the concrete using steel rods [1]. Although due to only a small arch, the total rise of the bridge was only 16 feet, the loads of human traffic caused the concrete to experience large amounts of creep and shrinkage [2]. Creep is a permanent deformation of the concrete that could lead to failure [3]. Shrinkage is where the atoms in concrete contract and reduce its volume due to weather conditions and can lead to cracking. This major crack propagation was stopped by Freyssinet by adding decentralized joints to support and control concrete deformation [2]. Although the Pont le Veurdre was stabilized by Freyssinet, during World War II Pont le Veurdre was destroyed. This bridge was able to show that by off-centering the supports jacks, they were able to overcompensate for the creep and prevent further creep and shrinkage of the concrete [2]. These support jacks that Freyssinet presented is now often used to support concrete structures in buildings, roads, and bridges.

Works Cited: 1, 2, 3

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Written by Caylea Pogue

October 5, 1911 at 7:13 pm

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