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UVa supplement - Engineering Essay "Glass Bridge"

daniel44992 13 / 29  
Dec 30, 2011   #1
"If you were given funding for a small engineering project, what would you do?" It's a little longer than they would like so if anything seems like it could be cut, please tell me. Does this seem like a good idea or too big? Also, does the last sentence make sense? Thanks!!

Everybody in my town is very excited for the newest addition to our community, a place called Riverwalk. The plan is to build a new area of town that would have outdoor shopping, a new neighborhood, and an Olympic cyclist training center. All of this will situated beside the Catawba River, but from what I have seen of the plans, the river is underutilized. So far, there is a sidewalk beside the river and that is all that is planned and the river seems to be more a namesake rather than an attraction.

There is a fan-shaped section of land that juts out into the river and this is where I would propose to build a park. All of the underbrush and dead trees would be cleared away and new grass would be planted. Park benches and picnic tables would sit in the shade of the remaining trees. Paths would wind around the trees and there would be pavilions for entertainment and gatherings. However, this riverside park would serve as a gateway to the more daring project. At this point in the river, it is roughly 200 feet across and I would build a foot bridge to cross the river. The bridge would be simple and would ideally be wide enough for four people to walk side by side and be able to hold medium levels of foot traffic. The main application of the bridge is not just as a connection to the other side but as an attraction itself. The middle forty feet of the bridge would be made completely of glass: the floor and the sides. This idea is based on the glass viewing deck at the Grand Canyon and would be made of the same glass. By having a floor of glass, visitors would see the water as it rushes past just feet below them. This would offer an unrestricted view of the whole river and a unique perspective not found anywhere else.

All of this would offer more of an attraction for tourists as well as somewhere for the local residents to relax. The park could host events or just be a place for families to have cookouts. Across the river, trails could be created for walking and biking and these could even host an annual "Riverwalk 5k" to attract more tourists. Connecting these two landscapes would be the real attraction, a bridge with a glass floor to allow visitors to almost walk on water.
karissa_a16 4 / 94  
Dec 30, 2011   #2
you have a cool idea with the glass floor thing. I don't really know anything about engineering, but I would definitely use that bridge if it existed haha. I think that you shouldn't focus on the park part at all because it's kind of irrelevant. there's a lot of irrelevant material in the beginning of your essay. Please read my common app one. Thanks!

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