How Cable Rigging Hardware Is Used To Build Bridges
Don’t be fooled by the similarities in suspension bridges and cable-stayed bridges. The difference between the two is that cable-stayed bridges don’t require multiple towers or anchors. And while this may sound scary because it’s considerably less structured, the cables and the hardware provide all the support.
How It Works
All bridges have the same goal of connecting two separate pieces of land and must be strong enough to withstand varying weights at any given time. The concept of a cable-stayed bridge is the same, but how the weight moves differs from other bridge styles. In summary, the force and tension maintain a balance and are transferable.
Their design allows the load to move the stress vertically and down when it comes to how cable-stayed bridges are built. The stress converts into tensile force and acts on cables that attach to the bridge’s deck in intervals. All the cables connect to one central pillar or tower where the energy becomes a compressive load.
A cable-stay bridge can be built in various ways, depending on the distance between the landmasses.
- Multi-span cable-stay – This type of bridge has more than three spans. Because this structure is not as stiff, it requires supplementary design solutions.
- Cantilever-spar cable-stay – There is only one cantilever spar on just one side of the span. This single spar design resists any bending the cable’s force creates.
- Side-spar cable-stay – Built with only one pillar on one side. This design allows for a curve in the bridge like the Jerusalem Chords Bridge.
Advantages of Cable Stay
One of the most significant advantages to how cable-stayed bridges are built is they can be constructed with any number of towers, compared to a suspension bridge which is limited to just two. They also require a smaller number of cables. Because of the number of cables needed, the cable rigging hardware must be durable enough to withstand the tension.
The design and construction of a cable-stayed bridge are more cost-effective and visually appealing than other styles. And while the cable stay system is often compared to and mistaken for the suspension bridge, the two differ significantly.