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Cable-Stayed Bridge as an Alternative for Medium and Short Span Bridges


Cable-stayed bridges are usually thought of as signature bridges and not generally considered as serious option for most regular short-to-medium span bridges. This stems mainly from the belief that such bridges are expensive and too elaborate for the function required. However, in many circumstances, cable-stayed bridges can provide benefits at a relatively moderate increase in cost. Some of the benefits include the following: • long spans with minimal deck thickness • the elimination of piers • increased traffic safety • the minimization of environmental impacts and construction schedule limitations for river crossings • enhanced appearance In addition, greater use of this form of construction would allow our contactors to perfect methods of construction that would drive down the cost for future cable-stayed bridges. After a brief literature review on short-to-medium span cable-stayed bridges, this paper will discuss the advantages of considering cable-stayed bridges as an option. The recently constructed Elbow River Bridge will be used as an example to demonstrate the possibility of using a cable-stayed bridge as a successful option for medium-span bridges, where deck thickness is an issue and river piers need to be eliminated. The Elbow River Bridge is located near downtown Calgary, Alberta, and is the first vehicular cable-stayed bridge in Alberta. The bridge is owned by the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede and provides local access to Stampede grounds. The cable-stayed bridge was selected because of limitations in deck thickness, a tight construction schedule, and the attractive appearance. The Elbow River Bridge has a single span of 48.5 m. The deck is a cast-inplace post-tensioned concrete slab with a width of 12.66 m and an average thickness of 0.55 m. The cables are anchored at the east end of the bridge through two pylons. The deck was cast in a single stage because the contractor used existing steel girders as shoring to span the river and support the deck forms during the slab pour. This paper will discuss situations where cable-stayed bridges may be considered as realistic options for small-tomedium span bridges. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Azita Azarnejad
Ken McWhinnie
Gamil Tadros
Jiri Strasky