Builders at New York’s iconic Flatiron Building were busy last week constructing a bridge across the Hudson River that will span the water, but they’re not yet finished.
The bridge, known as the “river bridge”, will be a marvel of engineering and engineering design.
Built by the Brooklyn-based firm NBBJ and overseen by the architect Daniel Garrott, it will span over the Manhattan skyline, a feat that would have taken a century to achieve in the 19th century.
But according to a new study, the scale of the project may have been “unprecision”, as the builders were too concerned with the scale and location of the structure to include it in the building plans, even though they knew they had the necessary materials to complete the project.
In fact, the bridge was “very likely” to be a complete failure, the study concluded.
The study, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, was led by Paul Hildreth, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT.
He and his colleagues used a new tool, called a 3D model, that allows researchers to determine the precise location and geometry of structures like bridges.
In the case of the Brooklyn Bridge, they found that it would have needed to be built on a site where the water was at a height of about 50 metres, but at a site that was only 60 metres away from the river.
The researchers found that the bridge, which will be known as “river” bridge, was likely to have been constructed from three main sections: a north-south span, the south-east span, and a north to south bridge, all of which are connected to each other.
The structure of the bridge is designed to cross the Hudson river by crossing the upper and lower sections of the river, and the researchers estimated that the total cost for building the bridge would have been about $300 million.
Building a bridge over the Hudson would have cost more than $1 billion to build, and would have required a team of hundreds of people, including engineers, civil engineers, and landscape architects, to complete.
The team used a three-dimensional model to estimate the amount of work required to build the bridge.
“Building a bridge is the equivalent of building a bridge and a road,” Hildreed said in a statement.
“The work required is enormous, but it is so small that we’re not sure we could have done it in our lifetimes.”
Building the bridge may have taken hundreds of workers to complete, but the researchers say that it was an “unbelievably” complex project.
For example, the designers didn’t include the cost of materials, and they didn’t consider how they would react to flooding from heavy rain, storm surges, or hurricanes.
The report also found that they did not include how much the bridge might have cost in lost property or lost lives, and that the costs were far too high for what the builders intended to do.
“We believe that the project’s scale, cost, and complexity make it unlikely that it could have been done in the foreseeable future, even if the costs of materials and design and construction could be fixed,” the authors wrote.
“As the largest bridge in the world, the project is more costly than it could possibly be.”