Economic performance of cable supported bridges

  • Sun, Bin (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Zhang, Liwen (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Qin, Yidong (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Xiao, Rucheng (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University)
  • Received : 2015.12.17
  • Accepted : 2016.06.10
  • Published : 2016.08.25


A new cable-supported bridge model consisting of suspension parts, self-anchored cable-stayed parts and earth-anchored cable-stayed parts is presented. The new bridge model can be used for suspension bridges, cable-stayed bridges, cable-stayed suspension bridges, and partially earth-anchored cable-stayed bridges by varying parameters. Based on the assumption that each structural member is in either an axial compressive or tensile state, and the stress in each member is equal to the allowable stress of the material, the material quantity for each component is calculated. By introducing the unit cost of each type of material, the estimation formula for the cost of the new bridge model is developed. Numerical examples show that the results from the estimation formula agree well with that from the real projects. The span limit of cable supported bridge depends on the span-to-height ratio and the density-to-strength ratio of cables. Finally, a parametric study is illustrated aiming at the relations between three key geometrical parameters and the cost of the bridge model. The optimization of the new bridge model indicates that the self-anchored cable-stayed part is always the dominant part with the consideration of either the lowest total cost or the lowest unit cost. It is advisable to combine all three mentioned structural parts in super long span cable supported bridges to achieve the most excellent economic performance.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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