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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon So why, I thought, would the supports for the bridge in the first panel extend several dozen meters above the roadbed? It's not a suspension bridge (in which the supports continue soaring into the sky in order to hold up the main cables) or a cable-stayed bridge (in which the supports loom upwards to give high anchor points for the stays), so that's out. Normally the support pillars for a beam bridge, like the one pictured, end below the bridge deck.

Then I realized that, in the Venusian wind, those rounded clear awnings covering the road would create some atrocious drag, and the awning or even the whole bridge might tear itself apart like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Having pillars above the covering might break up the miles-long wind flow, keeping immense vortexes (or worse) from forming.

However, I'm not a civil engineer, so this is all skylarking.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs I would say that the main design principle going into that bridge is simply the desire to have it not be smashed to bits by the tidal waves that regularily surge up that channel, and the awning is there to not have those tidal waves scour the bridge deck clean of tax-paying motorists. To a certain amount the design was inspired by a hazily recalled Discovery Channel special on building a bridge across the Bering Strait. The piers of the bridge would have to be shaped like an icebreaker's bow so they could survive the constant onslaught of pack ice drifting down from the pole. In retrospect it might have been easier to build a tunnel instead, or just give up and have the two halves of the city lob artillery shells at each other from time to time.

I hope you all had a lovely Yom Kippur. Other than that I don't really have much else to say, except that this is the end of the scene and we will now move on from Venus to pastures new!