The Surreal Appeal of the Falkirk Wheel

The people of Falkirk, Scotland needed to connect two waterways, but there was one big problem.  The difference in height between the two measures about the same as an eight story building.  The solution?  A pretty amazing rotating boat lift, the only one of its type in the world:

The Scottish capital city, Edinburgh and its second city, Glasgow, had no water based connection for seventy years. It wasn’t until almost the dawn of the new century that this situation was reconsidered and the idea of the Falkirk Wheel was taken seriously and put in to action.

Now the wheel, as well as a connector between the two cities, is a remarkable and awe-inspiring tourist destination in its own right. However, if it wasn’t for the prodigious gambling habits of the British people this amazing structure would never have been built.

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by taliesyn30.

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There is no doubt this is really cool example of engineering. However, when you see it in person you're somewhat surprised by how small it is! It is not intended for the large river barges you may be familiar with in the US.

The canals used to be connected via a lock system, but those were filled in during the 1930s because they weren't used. I wonder how they justified that cost. Reminds me of US projects like the various "Bridge to Nowhere" projects proposed in Alaska over time.
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