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Hard infrastructure, i.e., highways, bridges, railroads, etc., aren’t often seen as some awe-inspiring examples of aesthetics that surround us. However, they certainly can be.

Whether it’s a straightforward solution that offers eye-pleasing symmetry or an elaborate design that adds extra pizzazz to the scenery, hard infrastructure can be an impressive feat of both engineering and beauty. Add perfect timing and just the right angle and you’ll be rewarded with some stunning imagery, too.

If you’re up for celebrating the curves and lines of roads and dams, we might have the perfect Reddit community for you that you can find here. In it, people share photos and their admiration for impressive structures that scratch their aesthetics itch. Check out some of the latest gems from the subreddit below.

#1

Thought You Would Be Interested In This Skew Bridge In Scotland

Thought You Would Be Interested In This Skew Bridge In Scotland

ameowman Report

These feats of engineering excellence might dazzle you with their photogenic glory, but it’s infrastructure’s development processes that make it far more impressive.

Infrastructure is often considered to be the backbone of the modern world. Hard infrastructure especially, with its intricate webs of transportation, network and power grids, and plumbing, are crucial to pretty much all city dwellers every single day.

When developing such vital parts of our everyday lives, engineers need to weigh many different concerns, the project’s purpose and structural integrity being the most obvious ones. However, these are not the only challenges they face.

#2

Wildlife Crossing In Banff National Park, Canada

Wildlife Crossing In Banff National Park, Canada

zek_997 Report

#3

Heatherwick Rolling Bridge - Paddington Basin, London, England, UK

Heatherwick Rolling Bridge - Paddington Basin, London, England, UK

rockystl Report

Infrastructure’s climate resilience is probably one of the most prominent issues these days. Engineers are encouraged to design structures that can withstand flooding, extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, and other physical impacts of climate change. 

An example of this initiative is the call to replace gray infrastructure with green infrastructure. The difference between the two is that gray infrastructure focuses on sluicing away rain water with the help of pipes and gutters while the green type is all about capturing it by using porous pavements, rain gardens, green roofs, and the like.

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#4

Magdeburg Water Bridge - Magdeburg, Germany

Magdeburg Water Bridge - Magdeburg, Germany

rockystl Report

#5

Bastei Walking Bridge - Germany - 1851

Bastei Walking Bridge - Germany - 1851

rockystl Report

Then, there’s also the impact of the infrastructure on nature. Deforestation is probably the first thing that comes to mind here, but there are other concerns, too. A study conducted by European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research shows that habitat loss, mortality, as well as noise and air pollution are the most obvious traffic effects on wildlife.

Furthermore, road barriers tend to isolate populations. And while it might seem that constructing wildlife corridors is an easy enough solution, it’s not all positive either as it can invite nonnative pest species into the landscapes.

#7

Banff Wildlife Crossing Project, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Combined With Fencing To Keep The Animals Off The Road, The Structures Have Reduced Animal-Vehicle Collisions In The Area By More Than 80%

Banff Wildlife Crossing Project, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Combined With Fencing To Keep The Animals Off The Road, The Structures Have Reduced Animal-Vehicle Collisions In The Area By More Than 80%

morganmonroe81 Report

#8

The Ancient Roman Aqueduct In Segovia, Spain - Standing Since The 1st Century

The Ancient Roman Aqueduct In Segovia, Spain - Standing Since The 1st Century

EssoEssex Report

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oktopus1973 avatar
oktopus
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In use until the mid-19th century, apparently (I had Covid a while back and spent a lot of time reading up on random stuff on Wikipedia...)

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#9

Devil's Bridge - Bulgaria

Devil's Bridge - Bulgaria

rockystl Report

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Kimbowa
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This image somehow reminded me of a utensil you use to cut and serve cake with so I looked up what they’re called and there are different names for them such as cake shovel, pie knife, crêpe spade, and quiche trowel. (Went off on my own little thing here.)

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In addition to affecting wildlife, infrastructure can negatively affect local communities. For example, building dams can destroy wetlands, dry river basins, and leave people vulnerable to flooding or droughts. Infrastructure developments can also displace people and affect the livelihoods of nearby workers.

However, the positive effects of infrastructure can also be great, often creating job opportunities for locals. Access to electricity and internet can spur economic growth, while roads and telecommunication increase social connectivity.

#10

The Falkirk Wheel, A Rotating Boat Lift In Scotland. It Replaces The Original 11 Locks On The Forth And Clyde Canal Junction With The Union Canal

The Falkirk Wheel, A Rotating Boat Lift In Scotland. It Replaces The Original 11 Locks On The Forth And Clyde Canal Junction With The Union Canal

Stotallytob3r Report

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AnnaB
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It works like this... https://www.google.com/search?q=Falkirk+Wheel&rlz=1C1JSBI_enUS1057US1057&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:4de16fa7,vid:qHO9gARac-w

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#11

High Trestle Trail Bridge - Boone County, Iowa

High Trestle Trail Bridge - Boone County, Iowa

rockystl Report

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Lyone Fein
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It used to be a train bridge. Now it is part of the state wide hiking trail system.

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#12

Dedicated Bus Lanes In The Middle Of The A40 Autobahn In Essen, Germany

Dedicated Bus Lanes In The Middle Of The A40 Autobahn In Essen, Germany

catp2 Report

At the other end of the scale for all these considerations is, of course, funding. According to experts, the infrastructure in the US is underfunded and is lagging behind the country’s economic competitors. Projected investment infrastructure gaps mostly affect the road networks, with it needing almost double the investments.

#13

Millau Viaduct

Millau Viaduct

_SP3CT3R Report

#14

A Wall In Ancient Ostia Where The Bricks Were Laid According To The Scheme Called Opus Reticulatum, With Bricks Arranged Diagonally. The Ancient Romans Knew Earthquake Tremors Were Transmitted Diagonally And This Could Cope Better Than A Horizontal Pattern

A Wall In Ancient Ostia Where The Bricks Were Laid According To The Scheme Called Opus Reticulatum, With Bricks Arranged Diagonally. The Ancient Romans Knew Earthquake Tremors Were Transmitted Diagonally And This Could Cope Better Than A Horizontal Pattern

Stotallytob3r Report

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federicocantoni avatar
Jrog
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Title is misleading. The use of opus reticulatum was totally unrelated to earthquakes. It was just a way to ensure better adhesion between blocks compared to the opus incertum previously common (opus incertum was basically "just throw stones in the concrete mix"). This allowed dead loads to be transferred between hard stones better and avoided weaknesses caused by sacs of concrete with too few stones. Btw, the knowledge on how earthquake energy is transmitted begun to be understood 16 centuries later, when neapolitan architect Pirro Ligorio witnessed the Emilian earthquake and studied the damages, then designed the first antiseismic building.

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#15

Someone Recommended That I Post This Denver Lightrail Station Entrance On Here

Someone Recommended That I Post This Denver Lightrail Station Entrance On Here

RCsSnaps Report

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SkekVi
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is so cute and welcoming! I wish more public architecture was this fun.

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All in all, that’s quite a lot to consider. However, on top of it all, engineers don’t forget about the aesthetics of the projects they develop. They not only try to strike a balance between all the variables at hand, they also aim to build something beautiful. These images are proof of their excellence.

#17

Tram From 1926 Still In Active Traffic On The Streets Of Stockholm, Sweden, November 2022 [4080x3072]

Tram From 1926 Still In Active Traffic On The Streets Of Stockholm, Sweden, November 2022 [4080x3072]

kattmedtass Report

#18

Royal Gorge Bridge - Fremont County, Colorado

Royal Gorge Bridge - Fremont County, Colorado

rockystl Report

#19

Elevated Metro Line Integrated Into Park It Passes Over In Kolkata, India

Elevated Metro Line Integrated Into Park It Passes Over In Kolkata, India

Low-Newt-180 Report

#20

Kapellbrucke Chapel Bridge - Lucerne, Switzerland

Kapellbrucke Chapel Bridge - Lucerne, Switzerland

rockystl Report

#21

A Cycle Path That Goes Through A Lake In Bokrijk, Belgium

A Cycle Path That Goes Through A Lake In Bokrijk, Belgium

Stotallytob3r Report

#22

Aqueduct Of Valens, Built In The Year Of 368 Ad In Constantinople

Aqueduct Of Valens, Built In The Year Of 368 Ad In Constantinople

senolsanbari Report

#23

The Mozes Bridge (Loopgraafbrug) - Fort De Roovere, Halsteren, Netherlands

The Mozes Bridge (Loopgraafbrug) - Fort De Roovere, Halsteren, Netherlands

rockystl Report

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#24

Under Manchester Streets

Under Manchester Streets

abaganoush Report

#25

A Novel High Voltage Electricity Pylon Called 'Bog Fox', In Estonia By Part Architects

A Novel High Voltage Electricity Pylon Called 'Bog Fox', In Estonia By Part Architects

r_sole1 Report

#26

Temporary Road Build Around A Landslide In Fukui Prefecture, Japan

Temporary Road Build Around A Landslide In Fukui Prefecture, Japan

biwook Report

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SkekVi
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bonus: you get to watch the progress of them clearing it away every time you drive by. Exciting for kids I think.

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#27

The Bridge Over The Mountain Spring Lake In Romania [oc][1772x1181]

The Bridge Over The Mountain Spring Lake In Romania [oc][1772x1181]

NudeArtRomania Report

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Roan The Demon Kitty
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lake Izvorul Muntelui (or Lake Bicaz)! believe it or not, but this is an artificially created lake, and it is beautiful. Also near here is Bicaz Gorge and Hășmaș National Park. :)

#28

Utrecht, The Netherlands: 50 Years Ago, This Canal Was Filled And Converted Into A Highway. Now It Has Finally Been Transformed Back, With Space For Cyclists And Nature As Well

Utrecht, The Netherlands: 50 Years Ago, This Canal Was Filled And Converted Into A Highway. Now It Has Finally Been Transformed Back, With Space For Cyclists And Nature As Well

Redditing-Dutchman Report

#29

The Entrance To What Once Was The Longest Railway Tunnel In The World. Northern Line, London Underground

The Entrance To What Once Was The Longest Railway Tunnel In The World. Northern Line, London Underground

Stotallytob3r Report

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Petra Schaap
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

my only problem with the London underground is that it can be super hot inside in the summer.

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#30

Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol, England, UK

Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol, England, UK

rockystl Report

#31

The Stockholm Telephone Tower With Approximately 5,500 Telephone Lines, 1890 [1600x1238]

The Stockholm Telephone Tower With Approximately 5,500 Telephone Lines, 1890 [1600x1238]

kairatsh Report

#32

Road Cut Through Taroko Gorge, Taiwan [oc]

Road Cut Through Taroko Gorge, Taiwan [oc]

loki_racer Report

#33

Suspension Rail In Wuppertal, Germany

Suspension Rail In Wuppertal, Germany

footour Report

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Jrog
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This had a few accident in the past, including one where an elephant fell into the river.

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#34

Giantic Bridge In Germany, 158 Meter Tall, 1702 Meters Long

Giantic Bridge In Germany, 158 Meter Tall, 1702 Meters Long

According_South_2500 Report

#35

The Lner Azuma Train Crosses Edinburgh's Forth Bridge

The Lner Azuma Train Crosses Edinburgh's Forth Bridge

Brilliant__5280 Report

#36

Huangjuewan Interchange

Huangjuewan Interchange

biwook Report

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jbedson1931 avatar
S. E. in Indiana
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ok, so take a left at the third ramp on the right, then merge to the center lane until you come to the ramp that veers to the left. Oh, never mind. Just stay home.

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#37

Oil Rig In Brage Oil Field Located In The North Sea 120 Km Northwest Of The City Of Bergen

Oil Rig In Brage Oil Field Located In The North Sea 120 Km Northwest Of The City Of Bergen

fattyfoods Report

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Nicole Weymann
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The pic may be striking - mostly because of the roiling sea - but I would never call that infrastructure aesthetically pleasing, nor an example of "thinking outside the box"

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#38

Another Image Of The New Bicycle Storage In Amsterdam, With Space For 7000 Bikes Below The Water In Front Of Central Station

Another Image Of The New Bicycle Storage In Amsterdam, With Space For 7000 Bikes Below The Water In Front Of Central Station

Redditing-Dutchman Report

#39

Public Elevator In Luxembourg, Free As All Other Public Transportation

Public Elevator In Luxembourg, Free As All Other Public Transportation

MaxiKing121 Report

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Jrog
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Public transportation in Luxembourg has been free since 2020. Initially it was done to avoid complaints because the city network was undergoing major disruptions from renovation and upgrade works, then due to extremely positive feedback on traffic and public support it was integrated into the city ecological plan. The initiative was was initially scheduled to end this year, but will likely become permanent.

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#40

Crystal Palace Transmitter, London

Crystal Palace Transmitter, London

mellonians Report

Note: this post originally had 106 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.