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I. Decide whether the following statements are true or false according to the text:

1. Construction crews can safely work underwater using a watertight chamber.

2. Most caissons have the shape of a triangle.

3. The walls are usually made of cardboard.

4. Caissons are filled with water after the construction is over.

5. The three main types of caissons are open, pneumatic and closed.

6. An open caisson has an open top and bottom.

7. The top edges are called cutting edges.

8. A pneumatic caisson is closed at the bottom.

9. It uses compressed air to keep water out of the working chamber.

10. This type of caisson consists of two sections.

11. Concrete is poured into the lower section.

12. Workers and materials move in and out of the lower section through bottom edges.

13. When workers enter or leave a pneumatic caisson they must pass through an airtight chamber.

14. If workers stay in a caisson for a long time they may develop bends.

II. Answer the questions

1. What is caisson in building?

2. What is the shape of caissons?

3. What are the kinds of caissons?

4. What is the difference between an open and pneumatic caisson?

5. What are the sections of a pneumatic caisson?

6. Why is concrete poured into the upper section?

7. What is an air lock?

8. How does an air lock operate?

9. Why is the pressure changed in an air lock?

10. What can happen if workers go through a change of pressure too quickly?

11. Are caissons used nowadays?


III. Complete the sentence with the best answer (a, b or c) according to the information in the text

1. Caisson in building is a watertight chamber used

  1. in the construction of roofs

  2. in the construction of buildings

  3. in the construction of bridges and tunnels

2. All caissons are open … where digging takes place

  1. at the bottom

  2. on the top

  3. at the cutting edges

3. As earth is removed the caisson sinks

  1. under the weight of concrete in its working chamber

  2. under the weight of an entrance shaft

  3. under the weight of concrete in its upper section

4. Workers and materials move in and out of the lower section

  1. through a shaft

  2. through a working chamber

  3. through a top section

IV. Put the words in the right order

1. If, may, of with, caissons, are filled, they, become, concrete, part, structure, the, finished.

2. What, made, are, the, of, walls, of caisson?

3. The, sink, caisson, under, can, the, concrete, of, weight.

4. Is, to, keep, air, water, compressed, used, out, of, chamber, the working.

5. Caissons, piers, pneumatic, bridge, support, deep, in, water, located.

6. An, is, to change, air lock, used, the air pressure.

7. Quick, may, change, cause, of, disease, pressure, caisson.

V. Fill in the correct prepositions

to be filled … sth. to be open … sth. to move … and … of sth. to cut … sth. to pass … sth. to beep sth … sth. to be known … sth. to consist … sth. to be located … sth. to provide sth … smb.

VI. Translate the passage and answer the question: What was done to facilitate the setting of a foundation.

The Romans surmounted the problem of building bridge foundation in water by using cofferdams, which were temporary enclosures made of timber that were driven into the river bottom, made watertight with clay and then pumped dry to facilitate the setting of a foundation. This method was long used and only significantly improved with the development of the pneumatic caisson in the 19-th and 20-th centuries. In the early days of caisson use there were many casualties among workers who made a rapid transition from the compressed chamber to normal atmospheric pressure and developed caisson disease.

VII. Make the precis of the text


Beam bridges. All bridges need to be secure at the foundations and abutments. In the case of a typical overpass beam bridge with one support in the middle, construction begins with the casting of concrete footings for the pier and abutments. Where the soil is especially weak, wooden or steel piles are driven to support the footings. After the concrete piers and abutments have hardened sufficiently, the erection of a concrete or steel superstructure begins. Steel beams are generally made in a factory, shipped to the site, and set in place by cranes. For short spans, steel beams are usually formed as a single unit. At the site, they are placed parallel to each other, with temporary forms between them so that a concrete deck can be cast on top. The beams usually have metal pieces welded on their top flanges, around which the concrete is poured. These pieces provide a connection between beam and slab, thus producing a composite structure.

For longer spans, steel beams are made in the form of plate girders. A plate girder is an I beam consisting of separate top and bottom flanges welded or bolted to a vertical web. While beams for short spans are usually of a constant depth.

Arch bridges. Arches are normally fabricated on-site. After the building of abutments (and piers, if the bridge is multiarch), a falsework is constructed. For a concrete arch, metal or wooden falsework and forms hold the cast concrete and are later removed. For steel arches, a cantilevering method is standard. Each side of an arch is built out toward the other, supported by temporary cables above or by falsework below until the ends meet. At this point the arch becomes self-supporting, and the cables or falsework are removed.

Suspension bridges. When bridges requiring piers are built over a body of water, foundations are made by sinking caissons into the riverbed and filling them with concrete. Cassions are large boxes or cylinders that have been made from wood, metal, or concrete. In the case of suspension bridges, towers are built atop the caissons. The first suspension-bridge towers were stone, but now they are either steel or concrete. Next, the anchorages are built on both ends, usually of reinforced concrete with embedded steel eyebars to which the cables will be fastened. An eyebar is a length of metal with a hole (or "eye") at the ends. Cables for the first suspension bridges were made of linked wrought-iron eyebars; now, however, cables are generally made of thousands of steel wires spun together at the construction site. Spinning is done by rope pulleys that carry each wire across the top of the towers to the opposite anchorage and back. The wires are then bundled and covered to prevent corrosion. When the cables are complete, suspenders are hung, and finally the deck is erected—usually by floating deck sections out on ships, hoisting them with cranes, and securing them to the suspenders.

Cantilever bridges. Like suspension bridges, steel cantilever bridges generally carry heavy loads over water, so their construction begins with the sinking of caissons and the erection of towers and anchorages. For steel cantilever bridges, the steel frame is built out from the towers toward the centre and the abutments. When a shorter central span is required, it is usually floated out and raised into place. The deck is added last.

The cantilever method for erecting prestressed concrete bridges consists of building a concrete cantilever in short segments, prestressing each succeeding segment onto the earlier ones. Each new segment is supported by the previous segment while it is being cast, thus avoiding the need for falsework.

Cable-stayed bridges. Construction of cable-stayed bridges usually follows the cantilever method (see Figure 3). After the tower is built, one cable and a section of the deck are constructed in each direction. Each section of the deck is prestressed before continuing. The process is repeated until the deck sections meet in the middle, where they are connected. The ends are anchored at the abutments.


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