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


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.


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...

Products & Services
Network Bridges
Network bridges connect network segments so that devices on both segments can communicate as if they were part of the same network. The centralize network administration and are easier to configure than network routers, which require IP addressing for each computer on each segment.
Electronic Bridges
Electronic bridges are used to cross from one circuit, channel, board or element over to another.
Structural Erection and Ironworking Services
Structural erection and ironworking services provide installation of structural steel, including fastening and welding of structural elements including towers, buildings and bridges.
Cable Trays
Cable trays are rigid-type trays used as raceways for cables and wires.
Modular and Prefabricated Bridges
Modular and prefabricated bridges are traffic spans that are constructed in sections on or off-location before being installation. These bridges can be used on a temporary basis or designed for permanent use.

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...

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.

Overview Mahir Sen, P.E. Manager, Structures Department Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Princeton, New Jersey Alfred Hedefine, P.E. Former President Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc. New York, New...