A unique piece of engineering heritage lies along the banks of the Grand Canal near Sallins, County Kildare. It is a complex circular overflow device constructed from stonework. According to The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (link below) it is the only example of this type in Ireland. It is probably 200 years old.
It is particularly interesting from an engineering prospective, as whenever it is mentioned in publications, it is usually described as unnecessarily complex and over-engineered. One reference I remember, but that I haven’t found a link for yet, even described its purpose as a mystery!
Kildare County Council propose to construct a greenway along the Grand Canal towpath which bisects my town of Sallins. This will link with the already constructed Greenway along the Canal in County Dublin. Eventually there will be a greenway along the full length of the Grand Canal between Dublin and the River Shannon. When complete it will have a continuous length of 132 kilometers (82 miles). This greenway is close to my heart as besides living beside the Grand Canal, I cycled the full length of the Grand Canal in the summer of 2018, on a mountain bike. At present it is a difficult to cycle along much of the tow path with currently only a small minority being a smooth surface. It is however a beautiful experience and the proposed greenway will make it accessible to many more people. There is a lovely account of walking the full length of the Grand Canal by an American tourist click here.
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Plans for the proposed greenway are available to view click here, along with a link for submissions and observations. I have made my own observations on the proposal to the Council and I urge you to do the same. The closing date for observations is Wednesday the 16th January 2019. See below for my observations/ comments submitted:
Did you ever come across an object that was so badly designed you would be better off without it? While designers should be encouraged to be unique and try out different concepts, there should be always be some checking system in place to ensure that the product actually is fit for purpose, and to prevent abominations like the ones below from ever making it past the sketch pad and into production.
Burning mug. The picture below must be the worst designed mug ever. From the photograph it may not be obvious why it’s so bad. So let me explain.
The school holidays are coming. Schools are unusual in that they can be unoccupied for long periods of time during the summer and winter months. This does not apply to all school buildings as some have summer camps and the like. But where the school is left empty during holidays it has implications for building maintenance and this should be carefully considered. The following are some specific tips for school managers: Read more “Building advice for school managers”
Yesterday Dublin City and its surrounds were subjected to seriously heavy rainfall. A squall line dumped one month’s rain in the space of three and a half hours; 120mm of rain. This resulted in serious flooding which unfortunately caused the deaths of two people. One was an extremely brave off-duty police man who was sweep away when generously trying to warn traffic about flooded river bridge. The other was a young woman who was trapped in a flooded basement. A large suburban shopping centre at Dundrum was flooded as the result of a blocked culvert, and traffic chaos resulted with many roads becoming impassable. A friend said it took four hours to drive a journey that usually takes 30 minutes.
The main flooding was caused by blocked culvers, drains and small rivers overflowing. The main river in the area the Liffey did not flood to a significant degree because it has one large reservoir (and two small ones), which helped to contain most of the deluge.
The motorway sculpture called ‘The Hitchhiker’ has been stolen from the M7 motorway near Monasterevin in County Kildare. It was a 3.5 meter high piece of bronze (see left) and weighs 1000kg. See the newspaper article here. It is thought that the theft was motivated by the current high price of metal rather than any desire for the sculpture itself. Interestingly in the newspaper article the original artist estimates the scrap value would be €30,000. But I think this might be an over estimation. Assuming the bronze used contains 60% copper with 40% zinc, then the current market value of it would actually be around €10,000.