The suspension bridge is one of the most common types of bridge. It gets its name from the way it suspends the roadway from cables or chains that hang from large towers. These cables or chains are called suspenders. The towers rest on piers, which are usually built in the water. According to engineering experts like Reddy Kancharla, suspension bridges are a modern engineering marvel. Here’s a look at the history of suspension bridges and how they work:
The first suspension bridge was built over the river Avon in England in 1750. The bridge was made of wood, and it had a span of only 36 feet. The first metal suspension bridge was built in 1803. It had a span of 240 feet, and it crossed the river Schuylkill in Pennsylvania.
Two main cables or chains support suspension bridges. These cables or chains are attached to large towers on either side of the bridge. The cables or chains run over large pulleys called sheaves. The bridge’s weight is transferred from the cables or chains to the piers, which are usually built in the water. This prevents the bridge from sinking into the ground or swamping under heavy traffic.
The towers on a suspension bridge are usually very tall, and they can be as high as 1,000 feet. The height of the towers helps to keep the cables or chains taut. The cables or chains are also made of steel, which makes them strong enough to support the weight of the bridge.
The roadway on a suspension bridge is attached to the cables or chains by suspenders. These suspenders are made of steel cable or chain, and they run from the roadway to the tower. The suspenders help to keep the roadway level and stable.
Suspension bridges are very strong, and they can withstand wind speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. They are also resistant to earthquakes and floods.
Suspension bridges are a popular choice for bridges because they are economical and easy to build. They can be built in any location, and they are ideal for crossing rivers and other bodies of water.
Some notable examples of suspension bridges throughout the world include:
- The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan is the longest suspension bridge in the world. It has a main span of 1,991 feet, and it opened to traffic in April 1998.
- The Brooklyn Bridge is considered to be one of the finest examples of a suspension bridge ever built. The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883, and it has a main span of 1,595 feet.
- The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is another well-known example of a suspension bridge. It has a main span of 1,280 feet, and it was completed in 1937.
- The George Washington Bridge is the world’s busiest bridge. The George Washington Bridge carries more than 100 million vehicles each year and connects New York to northern New Jersey over the Hudson River.
Suspension bridges are an essential part of modern transportation. Moreover, they continue to evolve over time, which makes them even more interesting.