How To Stop A Colossal Bridge Corroding

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Tom Scott

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Shared July 22, 2019

A decade ago, engineers found the Humber Bridge had the same problem as many of the world's suspension bridges: unexpectedly fast corrosion. Here's how they fixed it, and how they're checking that it's staying fixed.

Thanks to all the team at the Humber Bridge board, at Cleveland Bridge, and Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, all of whom spent a lot of time and effort getting me up to the towers!

Aerial and ground camera by Octovision Media https://octovisionmedia.co.uk
Edited by Michelle Martin @mrsmmartin

I'm at https://tomscott.com
on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott
on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo


Tom Scott

"Hey, Tom, do you want to go up the Humber Bridge?" Yes. Yes I do. And I'm amazed that I got access to the actual corrosion test gantries, because they're understandably sensitive about that!

8 months ago | [YT] | 4,112

Frazer Telford

I don’t feel so bad paying the toll price now

8 months ago | [YT] | 3,262

Brandon Martin-Moore

You get to go to all sorts of exciting places. New Zealand, America, Japan... and Hull.

8 months ago | [YT] | 3,548

Nate and Noah Try Life

The tops of the towers are further apart because of the curvature of the earth. That’s is awesome and really gives you a sense of the scale.

8 months ago | [YT] | 1,847

Skip6235

Tom: “When it opened in 1981”

Me: Oh, well that wasn’t that long ago

Tom: “Nearly 40 years after it opened”

Me: Oh my god, I am so old

8 months ago | [YT] | 1,458

AvengerXP

"Corrosion cannot occur below 40% relative humidity"

This is that time where you learn something that will remain with you for the rest of your life that's infinitely valuable

8 months ago | [YT] | 2,338

Giga Dabber

Thanks i will use this with my giant bridge

8 months ago | [YT] | 1,660

Rodrigo Appendino

Tom Scott nowadays: "How to stop a colossal bridge corroding"
Tom Scott in 2013: "10 illegal things to do in London"

8 months ago | [YT] | 82

Outside

Why does Tom always look like hes a school kid on a visit whenever he's wearing hi vis and a helmet

8 months ago | [YT] | 460

Bjarne S.

Flat-Earthers hate this Bridge

8 months ago | [YT] | 292

Alex Davey

You can trust Jim Mawson because he's an engineer with a Yorkshire accent, the most trustworthy combination

8 months ago | [YT] | 71

B T

People from Hull speak with a distinctive accent which can make certain expressions ambiguous.

For instance, 'half hearted' can mean 'lacking enthusiasm' or 'I have just broken wind'.

8 months ago | [YT] | 582

Tijmen van den Heuvel

It feels a bit odd that the noise reduction of the microphone is so good! We can clearly see its windy, but hear nothing of it, its rather uncanny

8 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 372

Max Torque

er, did you miss the best bit? Namely the opto-acoustic system that listens to the noises made inside each main cable and can identify, using Time Domain Reflectometry individual wires breaking and where in the long cable they have broken!

8 months ago | [YT] | 238

Admiral Nemo

Watched a 5 minute video about corroding Kerbals. Would watch again.

8 months ago | [YT] | 96

Yari Cerruti

As an Italian who travelled over the Morandi bridge two hours prior to its collapse, I felt this video, especially the closing.

8 months ago | [YT] | 9

Jack Winterheld

A quick thanks from a non-native English speaker.
Your videos always having subtitles not only held me in for as long as I've watched your content, it also probably contributed to my understanding of English as a whole.
A native brit complimented my speaking today, so I thought I'd let you know how much these little things matter :-]

8 months ago | [YT] | 11

Rhys Evans

New drinking game:
Take a shot every time you hear; "Kerbel"

8 months ago | [YT] | 60

NineEyeRon

Q: So how do you stop your bridge falling down?

A: We blow on the cables.

7 months ago | [YT] | 18

Armuotas

"The bridges elsewhere in the World that aren't inspected..." *cough *cough Morandi Bridge, Italy... *cough

8 months ago | [YT] | 227