Grand Pont Suspendu Bridge

Grand Pont Suspendu

Grand Pont Suspendu 1834

Grand Pont Suspendu 1834

© Pechristener, Wikimedia Commons

The Bridge


The Grand Pont Suspendu, at Fribourg in Switzerland, was built in 1834 and removed in 1923. It is fitting that this bridge is included in a collection of the world’s greatest suspension bridges because Joseph Chaley’s design is historically important in setting a new standard. He was inspired by French engineer Louis Vicat to develop the use of main suspension cables. At Fribourg the four main cables were made up of over 1,000 individual wires and ‘spun’ on site. This enabled the construction of long cables at less cost than previous methods and achieved a world record clear span of 273m.

This method has become known as aerial spinning. John A Roebling developed it further for use on the Brooklyn Bridge, and Bill Brown consulted on projects throughout the world with his cable erection refinements cutting construction time and saving project costs.

Grand Pont Suspendu

Historically-important span in Fribourg

Key Facts

Opened in 1834 and removed in 1923

Joseph Chaley’s design pioneered the use of individual wires ‘spun’ on site to form the main suspension cables

Location

Fribourg, Switzerland

Crossed the Sarine River until 1923

Designers / Engineers

Joseph Chaley

Description

Suspension bridge

273m main span

Challenge

To develop the four main cables each from 1,056 individual iron wires

Construction

Began in 1832

Opened in 1834

Removed in 1923

Other long-span bridges


Çanakkale Dardanelles

Çanakkale Dardanelles Bridge 2023

Çanakkale Dardanelles Bridge 2023

© ÇOK AS

© B2 Archive

World Record Longest Bridge Spans


Çanakkale Dardanelles Bridge, 2023, Turkey, 2,023m
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, 1998, Japan, 1,991m
Humber Bridge, 1981, England, 1,410m
Verazzano Narrows Bridge, 1964, USA, 1,298m
Golden Gate Bridge, 1937, USA, 1,280m
George Washington Bridge, 1931, USA, 1,100m

There is a new world record for the longest main-span suspension bridge. After decades of planning and four years of construction the 1915 Canakkale Bridge over the Dardanelles Strait in north west Turkey has opened for traffic. At 2,023m main span it succeeds the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan and is a glorious celebration of the development of Turkey.

The official opening will be in 2023 to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. It will also be the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Bosphorus Bridge (18th July Martyrs’ Bridge) in Istanbul, the first bridge to link Europe and Asia.

If someone asks you: What is the world’s longest span bridge? You can say: “the 1915 Canakkale Bridge over the Dardanelles Strait”.

Bill's Proposed Bridge Design


Bill Brown first designed a bridge over the Dardanelles at Çanakkale nearly 30 years ago (B2 illustration shown above) and he would be overjoyed that his invention of the twin-box girder deck design would become a reality on the new bridge.

Bill and his firm Brown Beech were formally commissioned to prepare designs for The Dardanelles Bridge project following the success of the Second Bosphorus Bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge) and the expansion of the major road system. KGM recognised the need for bridges over the Dardanelles Strait and the Izmit Bay to improve communication and connect communities across Turkey.

In the early 1990s Bill and his team of consulting engineers and bridge designers at B2 were developing innovative designs with aerodynamic-box deck sections that continued the work that began with his Severn Bridge and Bosphorus Bridge designs. His introduction of the world’s-first concept of the twin-box deck (and multi-box) was the key.

Çanakkale Dardanelles Bridge

World record span suspension bridge under construction in Turkey

Key Facts

1915Çanakkale Bridge (official name)

World’s longest suspension bridge

Part of a new motorway easing the traffic load on Istanbul

Location

Near Gallipoli, North-west Turkey

Across the Dardanelles Strait

Linking Sütlüce, in Europe and Lapseki on the Asian side

Designers / Engineers

Parsons, Takfen and COWI (detailed design)

Original design concept by Dr William (Bill) Brown, B2

Mott MacDonald (Technical advisor)

Description

Steel suspension bridge

2,023m main span

3,563m total length + 1045m of approach viaducts

Main contractors

A Turkish-Korean joint venture

Comprising: Limak and Yapi Merkezi (Turkey)

Daelim and SK Engineering (Korea)

Construction of the 1915Çanakkale Bridge


The bridge is currently being constructed 10km south of the town of Gallipoli in north west Turkey. Not only will it be the longest central-span suspension bridge in the world at 2,023m, it will also have the highest towers for a suspension bridge at 334m. The aerodynamic twin-box girder deck will be 45m wide.

The towers have been built on piers in the Dardanelles Strait which is approximately four kilometres wide at this point. The cable spinning is underway and the deck will be erected later this year.

The bridge will form part of an 88km three-lane motorway project that connects to a route west of the Sea of Marmara, opening up communications and connecting communities in this part of Turkey and easing the traffic load on Istanbul.

These images show the 3D renders of the bridge and construction videos courtesy of Çanakkale Motorway Bridge Construction Investment Management Inc. (Çanakkale Otoyol ve Köprüsü İnşaat Yatırım ve İşletme A.Ş) and ©ÇOK AŞ

© ÇOK AS

Long-span bridges in Turkey


Tinsley Viaduct

Tinsley Viaduct 1968

Tinsley Viaduct 1968

© B2 Archive

The Bridge


The two-level Tinsley Viaduct carries the M1 motorway and a main road over the heavily developed Don Valley. It was the first steel structure in Britain to have road traffic on two levels.

The 1,036m long viaduct has the six-lane M1 motorway on the top deck, with the four-lane A631 road and services (gas, electricity and water) on the lower deck.

The decks are of continuous composite construction. A prestressed reinforced concrete slab 215mm thick is supported by two main longitudinal steel box girders, with transverse cross girders and cantilevers at approximately 3m centres. The structural steel has an especially high anti-corrosion specification.

Tinsley Viaduct

A two-level box girder viaduct

Key Facts

Two-tier road bridge

Carries the M1 motorway on the upper deck

Industry continued unabated during the construction period


Location

Sheffield, England

Across the River Don


Consulting Engineers

Freeman Fox & Partners


Description

Twin-deck box girder bridge

1,036m total length


Main contractors

Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company


Construction

Began in 1965

Lower deck opened 25 March 1968

Upper deck opened 19 October 1968


The first two-deck steel viaduct


Dr William Brown was Principal Designer at Freeman Fox & Partners in the 1960s.

One of the bridge projects he worked on with the design team was the Tinsley Viaduct with 20 simply-supported spans up to 49.7m long, and two end spans. The spans over the Don Valley are carried on 17 pairs of high tensile steel box columns. Each has a rocker support to accommodate thermal movement and subsidence, with a jacking facility to rectify any settlement. The 17 piers and four abutments are of reinforced concrete, founded at depths of 4.6 to 9.1m.

Other long-span bridges


Tsing Lung Bridge

Tsing Lung Bridge Proposed

Tsing Lung Bridge Proposed

© Ryan McManimie

The Bridge


The Tsing Lung Bridge was designed and planned between 1999 and 2002 to provide a second road link to Lantau Island in Hong Kong and the International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. A suspension bridge with a steel superstructure was proposed with a main span of 1418 metres. Each side spans would be 220m long.

Bill Brown and B2 worked in an engineering team for the review, design and proposed bridge construction with Chodai of Tokyo and Maunsell of Hong Kong. Bill was tasked with preparing the essential design drawings and continued his design development of the twin-box deck and undertook extensive wind tunnel testing. He created an advanced shallow streamlined deck to carry a three-lane highway for the Hong Kong Highways Department. The bridge was originally planned for completion in 2008 but has yet to be constructed.

Derivatives of Bill’s twin-box bridge deck design have subsequently been used on other bridges in China. He attempted to patent his designs and continued design protection up until his passing in 2005.

Tsing Lung Bridge

Proposed bridge to Lantau Island in Hong Kong

Key Facts

A proposed suspension bridge with a twin-box deck

6-lane roadway


Location

North Lantau to Tsing Lung Tau, Hong Kong

Across the Ma Wan Channel


Designers / Engineers

Bill Brown, Brown Beech

Chodai

Maunsell


Description

Suspension bridge

1,418m main span

Twin-box vented bridge deck


Other long-span bridges


Java Bali Bridge

Bali Straits Crossing Proposed

Bali Straits Crossing Proposed

© B2 Archive

The Bridge


Bill Brown applied his multi-box deck innovation when he was commissioned in 1996 to submit designs for a suspension bridge spanning the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali. Bill advised that the new Bali bridge should become a dual-box suspended span of 2,100 metres. He proposed an initial two-lane deck that could go on to accommodate two further curved-bottom boxes for greater stability and a final total of six lanes. This would reduce the initial capital cost of the bridge to a minimum when traffic and toll income is lowest. As traffic volume increased, toll revenue would fund the addition of bridge capacity.

Bali Straits Crossing

Proposed bridge linking Java and Bali

Key Facts

Two traffic lanes, expandable to six lanes


Location

Across the Bali Strait, Indonesia

Linking Java and Bali


Designers / Engineers

Dr William Brown

Brown Beech & Associates


Description

Steel suspension bridge design with multi-box innovation

Planned 2,100m main span


Other long-span bridges


Russky Bridge

Russky Bridge 2012

Russky Bridge 2012

© Volkova Natalia

The Bridge


The world’s longest cable-stayed bridge, with a 1,104m long central span, was opened in 2012 in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference hosted by Russia on Russky Island.

Two A-shaped towers or pylons reach a height of 321m and hold 168 cable stays, the longest of which is 580m. All bridge elements are designed to withstand the huge temperature range of the Vladivostok area, of between -40 and +40°C.

Russky Bridge

World's longest-span cable-stayed suspension bridge

Key Facts

World’s longest cable-stayed bridge span

Four-lane road bridge


Location

Vladivostok, Eastern Siberia, Russia

Linking Russky Island to the Nazimov peninsula


Designer

SIC Mostovik, Valery Kurepin


Description

Cable-stayed suspension bridge

1,104m main span

3,100m total length


Main contractors

USK Most

Freyssinet


Construction

Began in 2009

Opened July 2012


Other long-span bridges


Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge 1932

Sydney Harbour Bridge 1932

© Totajla

The Bridge


The Sydney Harbour Bridge has become one of the world’s most iconic bridges and a symbol both of Sydney and Australia. It was constructed by the British firm, Dorman Long & Co., with Sir Ralph Freeman, of Freeman Fox & Partners, carrying out the detailed design work. The initial design by John Bradfield had specified a cantilever design but advances in steelmaking enabled the redesign as a less expensive steel-arch bridge.

The bridge would have to carry the heavy loads of rail and road across the deep waters of the harbour to the new suburbs to the north. The population was growing fast and the new connection was vital to the city.
It was constructed out from each bank and connected in the middle in 1930. Its 503m central span makes it one of the longest bridges of its type in the world.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Steel-arch bridge that has become an icon of Australia

Key Facts

Steel-arch bridge opened in 1932

Links Sydney with its suburbs to the north

Carries four railtracks and a highway


Location

Sydney, Australia

Links Dawes Point on the south with Milsons Point on the north

Across Sydney Harbour


Designer

Sir Ralph Freeman, Freeman Fox & Partners (final, detailed design)

John Bradfield (initial design)


Description

Steel-arch bridge

503m main span

1,149m total length


Main contractors

Dorman Long and Co.


Construction

Began in 1923

Opened 19 March 1932


Other long-span bridges


Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Széchenyi Chain Bridge 1849

Széchenyi Chain Bridge 1849

© Fazon1

The Bridge


In the 19th century bridge building was taking advantage of new materials to produce longer spans and link cities and communities. One of the most important bridges was built In the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The River Danube divides the city and in 1849 it was bridged by a wrought iron and stone crossing designed by British engineer, William Tierney Clark.

Known as the ‘Chain Bridge’ it became a symbol of Hungary’s modern identity and the linking of east and west. In World War II its deck was blown up by retreating German troops, but it was fully restored and reopened in 1949.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

The first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest

Key Facts

One of Europe’s most iconic bridges

Unites a city, a nation, and east and west


Location

Budapest, Hungary

Across the River Danube

Linking Buda and Pest


Bridge designer

William Tierney Clark


Description

Chain suspension bridge

202m main span

375m total length


Engineer for construction

Adam Clark


Construction

Began in 1840

Opened 20 November 1849


Other long-span bridges


Ironbridge

Ironbridge 1781

Ironbridge 1981

© Paul Daniels

The Bridge


The Iron Bridge is a world renowned symbol of the 18th century Industrial Revolution. The River Severn created a deep gorge and exposed natural resources such as coal and iron ore. It was also a key trading route but a barrier to travel across the gorge.

In March 1776 Abraham Darby III, an ironmaster working at Coalbrookdale, was commissioned to cast and build an arch bridge with a single span. It became the first to be built of metal and pioneered the use of cast iron as the preferred material for bridges constructed in the late 18th and early 19th century.

The Iron Bridge

The world's first cast-iron bridge

Key Facts

Grade I listed structure

Also known as the Coalbrookdale Bridge

Location

Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England

Across the River Severn

Linking Broseley, Madeley and Coalbrookdale

Designers / Engineers

Abraham Darby III

Thomas Farnolls Pritchard

Description

Cast-iron arch bridge

30.63m main span

60m total length

Main contractors

Abraham Darby III

Construction

Began in November 1777

Opened July 1779

Visit Ironbridge website

Other long-span bridges


Union Bridge

Union Bridge 1820

Union Bridge 1820

The Bridge


The Union Chain Bridge became the UK’s first vehicular suspension bridge when it connected England and Scotland with a crossing of the River Tweed in 1820. The Royal Navy officer, Captain Samuel Brown, had been developing wrought iron chains and realised their use on bridge construction.

The bridge has undergone development and renovation over the past two centuries. Cables were added in 1902 and the deck has been renewed. The bridge is currently undergoing major restoration work.

When Bill Brown delivered his ‘History of Suspension Bridge Design’ presentation to engineering conferences and audiences throughout the world he would begin with a feature on the Union Bridge.

Union Bridge

Chain suspension bridge linking England and Scotland

Key Facts

Wrought iron chains used for bridge suspension

Much cheaper and faster to build than a masonry bridge


Location

Horncliffe in England to Fishwick in Scotland

Across the River Tweed


Designer

Captain Samuel Brown


Description

Chain suspension bridge

110m main span

137m total length


Main contractors

Captain Samuel Brown (chains and deck)

John Rennie (masonry towers)


Construction

Began in August 1819

Opened July 1820


Other long-span bridges