By Andreas Keil

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Extra info for Pedestrian Bridges: Ramps, Walkways, Structures

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In Europe in contrast, suspension bridges were completely unknown for a long time and their history only began with the development of tough steel. Their tension members were initially forged chains. Only in the 19th and 20th centuries were wire ropes developed, mainly in France, Switzerland and America, so that continuous tension elements could be manufactured. Wire cable was also easier to build with, which made it possible to create greater spans. The Pont CharlesAlbert, built near Cruseilles in France in 1839, was one of Europe’s earliest wire cable suspension bridges.

The upper chord of a cantilevered truss is subject to tension, which makes it possible to build smaller cross sections. There is however a risk of lateral deflection of the upper chord, which can be countered by clamping the struts in the superstructure. Forms of support structures Truss girders with parallel chords are very differently stressed, as the graduation in the cross section suggests. This type of truss is especially suitable for systems made up of equal, standardised individual parts, because all the elements have the same length and the detail points are repeated.

This is a major difference between these structures and cablestayed, beam and truss bridges. In the latter bridge types only the stiffness of structural elements contributes to deformation, not the forces in the structural elements. If the hangers’ angles are changed, the system’s stiffness will also be modified. Angled hangers slightly improve stiffness, while zigzag diagonal hangers completely change a bridge’s support characteristics so that they resemble those of a truss bridge. The compressive forces occurring in a truss in a suspension structure can however only be completely absorbed by the cables if there is enough own weight.

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