Q:

How do you build a suspension bridge?

A:

Quick Answer

Suspension bridges are box roadways supported by stanchions and steel cables of enormous tensile strength which themselves are strung on suspenders which themselves are anchored at the bridge's ends. This design ensures that when the roadway experiences load, it is transferred to the cables as tension.

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Full Answer

Suspension bridges are tremendous engineering projects. They require extensive land and weather surveys of their target building locations before their specifications can even be determined.

  1. Test a prototype
  2. Prototype bridges are scale models built for testing. They may be placed in wind tunnels or other high-stress environments to predict how a bridge will act in actual severe weather. These tests alert engineers to possible structural problems before they result in catastrophe in a finished bridge.

  3. Sink supports
  4. Concrete and steel stanchions must be sunk into the water or depression the bridge will ford. These bear up some of the material weight of the bridge and provide it with stability.

  5. Build roadway
  6. The roadway itself along with the vertical suspenders are the next part of the bridge to be raised. They allow construction to proceed without giving the bridge's elements time to sag or strain.

  7. Hang and mount cables
  8. The vertical and suspension cables are strung last. This provides the bridge with its systems of relief and support and enables it to bear up under massive loads thanks to the tensile strength of steel cables.

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