Ukrainian Engineers: Evgeny Paton

7 mins.

June 8, 2021

It is no exaggeration to say that Evgeny Paton was a genius.

Under his belt he had 50 riveted and 100 welded metal bridges. And of course the world’s first all-welded bridge, that is made by fusing and forging the edges of the product, without bolts or rivets.

Even at the age of 70 Evgeny Paton managed to discover the secret and master the methods of submerged arc welding.

Evgeny Paton was born in Nice (lucky, though), educated in TU Dresden , but spent all his life in Ukraine.

Instead of taking work away from Wikipedia, where you can find all the information about this Ukrainian engineer, we’ll just explain the first line of the post here.

During the construction of the Paton Bridge, builders needed to get rid of the remnants of the old structure. Before the new supports could be built, they had to get to the old pre-war bridge and smash it up with explosions. It was dangerous to do that – the caissons could be blown apart. For this reason, builders drilled holes with a diameter of 30 mm, put charges in them and blew them up. Then the remnants of the old material were removed and the caisson was lowered deeper. The explosives needed to be protected from water but plastic bags were not available in 1948. According to many legends, condoms were used for insulation and were ordered in industrial quantities.

There was reconstruction of the Paton bridge in 2004 (the all-welded one) and tram tracks were taken off it, so Kyiv tramway was divided into two networks: left-bank and right-bank. And in that ground you can come up with a legend about lovers staying on both sides of the river and looking at the same stars and not being able to meet. But luckily the universe has come up with other vehicles, but why not add romance to the engineering.

It is tragic and unfair that Evgeny Paton died 3 months before the opening of his most famous bridge, which now bears his name.

If you stand on any of the bridges designed by Paton, remember this wonderful Ukrainian engineer, thanks to him you can cross to the other side.


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