Over 100 years ago the city planners of Newport, in southeast Wales, had a niggling design problem. They needed a commercially-viable way to get people and goods across the River Usk, but could not use the go-to solutions: A ferry wouldn’t work, since the river’s extreme tides produced lengthy mud flats along the banks, making access impossible; and because tall ships plied the river, any bridge they built would have to be even taller—requiring entry and exit ramps of several miles in length.
Thus they turned to the capable French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin, who had patented a kooky idea for a water-crossing construction back in 1887. He designed and built the Newport Transporter Bridge in 1906, and it’s still in use today:
Another great find by Tom Scott.