Water Bridge

By Deane Barker on October 10, 2005

Water Bridge: Wicked cool — a bridge for boats. So simple, but I’d never even considered it before. Imagine the weight this thing must have to bear.



  1. Thats an aqueduct, they’tr actually quite common. Both for when canals cross each other but also for canal/road crossings.

  2. Thats an aqueduct, they’re actually quite common

    Seriously? I knew aqueducts carried water, but I never thought they carried boats on the water. I never thought they were actually big enough to carry boats.

  3. I’ve never seen a bridge for boats before, but I’ve been on a rotating boat lift, which was installed instead of lock gates all the way up the hill.

    A boat goes in at the top and at the bottom, and they literally swap places.

  4. The Grand Union canal has a ‘water bridge’ that carries the canal over the North Circular road near Hanger Lane, London, England – it’s a wierd feeling, looking down on eight lanes of heavy traffic as you slowly coast by in your narrow boat – great way to travel, though !

    Originaly known as the Grand Junction canal, it’s construction was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1793 – construction began that same year.

  5. I almost put this as a question, but I’ll make a comment instead.

    One of the neat things about aquaducts is that no matter how many boats there are on them, the weight that it must bear remains the same. (As each boat must displace its weight in water).

  6. One of the neat things about aquaducts is that no matter how many boats there are on them, the weight that it must bear remains the same.

    Dude, that’s brilliant. That never would have occured to me in a million years.

  7. Dude, think about that a minute. If a boat displaces its own weight of water, but the boat AND the water are still in the aquaduct, the aquaduct must now support:

    1. The water not displaced
    2. The boat’s wieght
    3. The water that the boat displaced.

    unless the aquaduct was full to the brim, and THEN you put the boat in, letting the excess water flow over the sides…

    Think about it.

  8. Steve:

    You’re correct if the aqueduct you’re talking about is a big bathtub supported in midair that doesn’t connect anything to anything. Most aqueducts are basically water bridges, having ends that are not hanging in midair, and connect two bodies of water supported by the ground. As a boat passes over the aqueduct the water level wouldn’t change at all since the water in the aqueduct and the canals it connects are one continuous body of water.

    zaphod is entirely correct; the load the aqueduct carries remains constant regardless of the boat traffic going across it because a boat displaces a volume of water that is equal to its weight.

  9. The old Erie Canal ran east west and had a number of aquaducts that carried the waterway over rivers along the route that tend to run north south.

  10. The “boat” thing at Disney World is called a ‘flume’ but it is sorta the same as this.

  11. Negative, the water level would not remain constant, even with to bodies of water on either end. The amount of variation would be incredibly small, impossible to gauge maybe but it would change, it would have to because some of the water is being displaced, that water has to go SOMEWHERE. Also, assume you have lake A, connected to lake B by an aquaduct, river, canal, whatever water link you like. Adding a boat to that system would increase the total weight of the system, shared by both lakes and whatever supported the link. I have no idea how this would work with oceans as well but the standard would have to remain constant because the water is supporting the craft, not the earth. The earth is supporting the water. Thus anything on the bottom of the ocean deplaces water but does not add weight to that of the water, anything floating does both.

  12. This is so cool. I cant believe someone would think of this. I wish i was that cool. I would defenetly live on it. Well i have to get back to my pokemon game

  13. Daniel, that’s not necessarily true. This pic in particular has locks on either end, which of course have sluices to prevent overflow. The water really does go somewhere outside the system. But in general, a great point.

  14. the bridge actually exists, you can find informations on it across the Internet. One of the sources is Wikipedia here

  15. SO HOW DO THEY KEEP THE FREAKING WATER ON THE BRIDGE??? is there a lock arrangement on either end??? If not, what keeps the water from running off the bridge to the lowest point? Anyone have a elevation detail of the bridge? It’s driving me carzy( or more crazy LOL)


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