The most powerful metaphor that we could think of when developing the marketing content for the Therefore BPMS was that of the bridge.
Bridges link locations, reduce transit times, unlock opportunities for trade, and often allow for a greater degree of social interaction between communities. In essence, bridges are “enablers” that release value that would have otherwise remained unrealised. Similarly, the Therefore BPMS builds bridges between your staff with a view to optimising the ease with which they are able to perform tasks and resolve queries, the ultimate objective being to add customer value.
During the course of our research into the bridge metaphor, we came across some pretty remarkable bridges. This article has been written to share our journey with you.
Tower BridgeTower Bridge, built between 1886 and 1894, is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London.
The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers.
The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge's present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee.
Sydney Harbour BridgeThe Sydney Harbour Bridge is a “steel through arch” bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney CBD and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "the coat hanger" because of its arch-based design.
The bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932.
The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, measuring some 134m (440ft) from its top to water level.
Nelson Mandela BridgeThe Nelson Mandela Bridge, completed in 2003, is a bridge in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built to link the Braamfontein and Newtown business areas as well as to rejuvenate and modernise the Johannesburg inner city. The bridge was constructed over 42 railway lines, without disturbing railway traffic. It is 284m in length.
The bridge’s two pylons, North and South, are 42m and 27m high respectively. To reduce the weight of the bridge, it was built using a steel structure with a concrete composite deck. The bridge consists of two lanes and has pedestrian walk-ways on either side to accommodate foot traffic.
The bridge's lighting was upgraded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The new LED lighting technology allows for the changing of the colour of the light, thereby creating a light show at night.
A bridge linking Braamfontein to the Newtown precinct was first mooted by Steve Thorne and Gordon Gibson in 1993 in their urban design study of the Johannesburg Inner City. Their study suggested that the bridge be called the Nelson Mandela Bridge in recognition of the role that he played in bridging the various peoples of South Africa and thereby uniting South African society.
Millau Viaduct BridgeThe Millau Viaduct Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France.
Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast's summit at 343m (1,125ft) above the base of the structure. It is the 12th highest bridge deck in the world, being 270m (890ft) between the road deck and the ground below. The Millau Viaduct Bridge is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Béziers and Montpellier. Construction cost was approximately €400 million. It was formally inaugurated on 14 December 2004, and opened to traffic on 16 December. The bridge has been consistently ranked as one of the great engineering achievements of all time. The bridge received the 2006 International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering Outstanding Structure Award.
Great Belt BridgeThe Great Belt Bridge runs between the Danish islands of Zealand (Copenhagen is partly on its eastern shore) and Funen (Odense is the main city). It consists of three structures: a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel between Zealand and the small island Sprogø located in the middle of the Great Belt and a box girder bridge for both road and rail traffic between Sprogø and Funen. The "Great Belt Bridge" commonly refers to the suspension bridge, although it may also be used to mean the box-girder bridge or the link in its entirety. The suspension bridge, officially known as the East Bridge, has the world's third longest main span (1.6km), the longest outside of Asia. It was designed by the Danish engineering firm COWI.
The link replaced the ferry service that had been the primary means of crossing the Great Belt. After more than five decades of speculation and debate, the decision to construct the link was made in 1986; the original intent was to complete the railway link three years before opening the road connection, but the link opened to rail traffic in 1997 and road traffic in 1998. At an estimated cost of DKK 21.4 billion (1988 prices), the link is the largest construction project in Danish history.
The link has reduced travel times significantly; previously taking about an hour by ferry, the Great Belt can now be crossed in about ten minutes. The construction of the link and the Øresund Bridge has enabled driving from mainland Europe to Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia through Denmark.
Golden Gate BridgeThe Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed bridge in the world". It opened in 1937 and was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world at 1,300m (4,200ft).
Charles BridgeThe Charles Bridge is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge (built 1158 – 1172) that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the "Charles Bridge" since 1870. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau) until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas. This "solid-land" connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.
The bridge is 621 m long and nearly 10 m wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.
Brooklyn BridgeThe Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed / suspension bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest bridges of either type in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It has a main span of 486m (1,595ft) and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. It was originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, but it was later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
Akashi Kaikyō BridgeThe Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island, in Japan. Completed in 1998, it crosses the busy Akashi Strait and carries part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway.
The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world, at 1,991m (6,532ft).
It is one of the key links of the Honshū-Shikoku Bridge Project, which created three routes across the Inland Sea.
Storms River BridgeThe Paul Sauer Bridge, also known as the Storms River Bridge, is a concrete arch bridge over the Storms River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It carries road traffic for the N2 national highway. The Paul Sauer or Storms River Bridge was built between 1953 and 1956. It was designed by Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi. The bridge spans 100m (328ft) and sits 120m (394ft) above the river.
The main arch structure was constructed in a unique fashion. The halves of the arch were built with climbing formworks in an essentially vertical position on opposite sides of the river canyon. They were then rotated and lowered into position to meet at the centre, thus forming the completed arch structure.
Located on the beautiful Garden Route N2, between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (160km in length), it was initially the highest concrete arch in Africa. It lost this record in 1984 to the Bloukrans Bridge.
Revised: 15 November 2018