Suspension Bridges

by Jordan Hong

What is a Suspension Bridge?

A suspension bridge is a type of bridge which is made by suspending the roadway to cables attached to a master cable which run above the length of the bridge. In addition, to being strong and lightweight, suspension bridges are also stunning including San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge and New York's Brooklyn Bridge.
The basic design of the suspension bridge has been used for over centuries ago: thousands of years ago, people crossed waterways and chasms by swinging hand over hand on suspended cables. Later, walkways were hung from the cables to make the process easier, and original vines and ropes began to be replaced by chains. These suspension bridges are first used in rain forests/jungles.


The Pearl bridge/Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge/Japan

The Pearl bridge is a great example of an iconic suspension bridge. The Pearl bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,991 metres (1.991 kilometres). It is also known as the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. It stretches across the Akashi strait in Japan joining Kobe on mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island The central span was originally 1,990 metres but the Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995, moved the two towers, increasing the length by 1 metre. The Pearl bridge can withstand winds of 286 kilometres per hour.


It took 2 million workers to construct the Pearl Bridge, that’s about half the population of New South Wales today. The bridge almost tool 12 years to build and was opened for traffic in 1998. The tower and the foundations of the suspension bridge are nearly as tall as the Eiffel tower, about 310 metres tall, as the Eiffel tower is 324 metres tall.

Facts

  • Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has a total length of 2.737 kilometres?
  • If the Golden Gate Bridge was built today it wold cost round about 1.3 billion dollars.
  • The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decker suspension bridge with 12 lanes (6 lanes upper and 6 lanes lower.
  • The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge - each of the two towers contains 1 million bolts and 3 million rivets.
  • the longest suspension bridge is the Akashi-Kiakyo bridge in Kobe, Japan, measuring 1,991 metres long.