Types of Bridges: Suspension

GoldenGate_mOne of the four main types of bridges is the suspension bridge. These bridges are generally long and somewhat imposing. The towers that are essential to the structural integrity of these bridges loom large. They make these spanning structures hard to miss.

The towers are not just for effect. They are the support for the cables that stretch from the land, up and over the towers, and back to the land. In turn, these cables provide the support for the vertical cables that extend from them to the deck of the bridge. The deck of the bridge is suspended from the cables — a suspension bridge.

As you examine a suspension bridge, you will see that, as a result of the cables being firmly anchored on either shore, there is a finite amount of cable to work with. The structural cables – the ones going up and over the towers – form a parabola between the towers because the weight of the deck is evenly distributed along the length of the cable.

The weight of the deck causes the cables to be in tension – meaning they are pulled downward. The bridge doesn’t collapse because the foundations of the towers are beneath the bed of the body of water; the towers stand strong as the forces are conveyed through them.

Part of the suspension bridge is a cantilever. We’ll speak about that further in a future post.

Other types of bridges:
Beam bridges
Arch bridges
Cantilever bridges


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Comments

  1. A commendable Journalistic attempt. A further post on Suspension Bridges as promised is eagerly awaited. Preferred if it could highlight the principal approach towards materials chiefly used like Steel Wire Ropes , decking and clamping / anchoring systems with side-Towers in current practice. A ready-recknor -type design with skeletal drawing for small spans, without static calculations, can be worked out and tabulated for use by people in remote hilly terrains.

      1. I’m grateful for keeping me posted on progress and am glad to learn that you intend to take up the said assignment.
        Keep it up. I wish you succeed in accomplishing this worthy task.

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