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Secrets of a Master Builder

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Building a Bridge Pier

Building a Bridge Pier James B. Eads faced many obstacles when he built the first steel bridge in the world over the Mississippi River, none of which was more daunting than the sinking of the bridges' two piers and abutments to bedrock. Eads plan was based on a similar technology used in Europe: that of using caissons. This demonstration shows the step-by-step process of constructing one of the piers and explains this amazing feat of engineering.

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