What Is a Cable-Stayed Bridge?

A cable-stayed bridge is a spanning structure that uses cables connected to the towers (also known as pylons) to support the roadway. Depending on the length of the bridge, cable-stayed spans have one or more towers.

Cable-stayed bridges share some similarities to suspension bridges; they both utilize towers and cables to support the roadway. Whereas suspension bridges have cables that anchor into the ground at either end of the span, running over the tops of the towers, cable-stayed bridges tie their cables into the towers themselves. Generally, there are two formats for cable-stayed bridges. Parallel or harp bridges anchor cables equidistantly from each other across the bridge and up the towers. Radial or fan bridges anchor the cables on the tower in one spot and spread out along the roadway.