1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 Year

FIGURE 26.1 Transition of maximum span length of bridges in the 20th century.

From around 1960, a wave of long-span suspension bridges moved to western Europe. In particular, the unprecedented ideas of streamlined box girder and inclined hangers adopted first for the design of the Severn Bridge in the United Kingdom, completed in 1966, were further applied to the Humber Bridge, the world's longest span bridge at the time of completion in 1981, and the first Bosporus bridge (Kemal Ataturk Bridge), designed by the same group. Later, in the last quarter of the 20th century, the construction of long-span suspension bridges boomed in Japan and the Scandinavian countries, and then in China. Such chronological trends as mentioned above may be recognized from Table 26.1a.

Among the recent suspension bridges in the Far East, the Seto Bridges in Japan (1988) and the Tsin Ma Bridge in Hong Kong (1997) are featured as long-span suspension bridges carrying both road and substantial rail traffics. Particularly in the former, new techniques such as innovative track structures and new design and fabrication provisions against fatigue were first developed. The longest span of a suspension bridge

TABLE 26.1 Span Length Ranking of (a) Suspension Bridges (Span >1000 m) and (b) Cable-Stayed Bridges (Span > 500 m)


Span (m)




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