BOOK_CONTENT
From Structural Steel Designer's HandBook: AISC, AASHTO, AISI, ASTM, AREMA, and ASCE-07 Design Standards, Fourth Edition

Overview

Walter Podolny, Jr., Ph.D., P.E.

Former Senior Structural Engineer, Office of Bridge Technology
Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, D.C.

David Goodyear, P.E., S.E.

Senior Vice President
T. Y. Lin International
Olympia, Washington

Few structures are as universally appealing as cable-supported bridges. The origin of the concept of bridging large spans with cables, exerting their strength in tension, is lost in antiquity and undoubtedly dates back to a time before recorded history. Perhaps primitive humans, wanting to cross natural obstructions such as deep gorges and large streams, observed a spider spinning a web or monkeys traveling along hanging vines.

15.1 EVOLUTION OF CABLE-SUSPENDED BRIDGES

Early cable-suspended bridges were footbridges consisting of cables formed from twisted vines or hide drawn tightly to reduce sag. The cable ends were attached to trees or other permanent objects located on the banks of rivers or at the edges of gorges or other natural obstructions to travel. The deck, probably of rough-hewn plank, was laid directly on the cable. This type of construction was used in remote ages in China, Japan, India, and Tibet. It was used by the Aztecs of Mexico, the Incas of Peru, and by natives in other parts of South America. It can still be found in remote areas of the world.

From the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, military engineers made effective use of rope suspension bridges. In 1734, the Saxon army built an iron-chain bridge over the Oder River at Glorywitz, reportedly the first use in Europe...

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Topics of Interest

Walter Podolny, Jr., P.E., Senior Structural Engineer, Office of Bridge Technology, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation Washington, D.C. OVERVIEW Few structures are as...

OVERVIEW Flexible cables have been used to form structural systems for many centuries. Some of the earliest man-made structures of any size were hanging bridges constructed from jungle vines and...

Thomas A.Ostrom Chief Office of Structures-North California Department of Transportation Sacramento, California Steven L.Mellon Senior Bridge Design Engineer Quincy Engineering, Inc. Sacramento,...

Robert L. Nickerson, P.E., President, NBE, Ltd. Hampstead, Maryland Park Dennis Mertz, P.E., Assoc. Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Delaware Newark, Delaware PART 1 APPLICATION OF...

Alfred Hedefine, P.E., Former President, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc. New York, NY John Swindlehurst P.E., Former Senior Professional Associate, Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc.