Span limit and parametric analysis of cable-stayed bridges

  • Zhao, Xinwei (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Xiao, Rucheng (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Sun, Bin (Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University)
  • Received : 2018.11.08
  • Accepted : 2019.04.02
  • Published : 2019.08.10


The span record of cable-stayed bridges has exceeded 1,000 m, which makes research on the maximum possible span length of cable-stayed bridges an important topic in the engineering community. In this paper, span limit is discussed from two perspectives: the theoretical span limit determined by the strength-to-density ratio of the cable and girder, and the engineering span limit, which depends not only on the strength-to-density ratio of materials but also on the actual loading conditions. Closed form equations of both theoretical and engineering span limits of cable-stayed bridges determined by the cable and girder are derived and a detailed parametric analysis is conducted to assess the engineering span limit under current technical conditions. The results show that the engineering span limit of cable-stayed bridges is about 2,200 m based on materials used available today. The girder is the critical member restricting further increase in the span length; its compressive stress is the limiting factor. Approaches to increasing the engineering span limit are also presented based on the analysis results.


Supported by : Science and Technology Committee of Shanghai


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