2611 Features of Cable Supported Bridges

Cable-supported bridges or cable-suspended bridges are defined as bridges whose decks are supported by flexible cables. They are, in principle, classified into a suspension type where the bridge deck is continuously supported by stretched catenary cable(s), a cable-stayed type where the deck is discretely and directly suspended by straight stay cables, and their combined type. Suspension and stayed structures are applied to roof and buildings too.

Although the load bearing mechanisms are different, suspension and cable-stayed bridges have in common the following features:

1. They generally consist of cables, bridge deck incorporated with solid-web girder or truss, and towers.

2. They are advantageous for spanning long distances as seen in Figure 26.1 because cables are subject to only tension and steel wires consisting of a cable have very high tensile strength, although they may also be used economically on short- and medium-span pedestrian bridges.

3. The entire structure is much more flexible than other types of structures having equivalent span length.

4. The complete structure can be mostly erected without intermediate staging from the ground.

5. The main structure is elegant and neatly expresses its function owing to its transparent appearance.

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