Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ecuador's Bridges: Puente Rio Baba (3)

After the anchorages and tower foundations have been poured and cured for one of Walter's bridges, then it can be assembled in a couple of days. The suspension cables are draped over the towers and attached to the anchorages. Then one or two people sit up on the suspension cables and attach precut stays every two meters. Floor beams are connected to each pair of stays and timber stringers are supported on the floor beams. Finally, wooden planks are laid on top of the timber stringers, hand railing and fencing is attached to the stays, and the bridge is complete.

For Puente Rio Baba, the deck also had to be anchored to the side of the cliff and steps were laid to help people get to the top. This isn't a bad solution when one bank is 40 meters higher than the other.

The deck is 102 meters long but the towers are 130 meters apart. The lower tower is 6.8 meters tall and the upper tower is only 3.9 meters tall. The anchorage is 23 meters behind the lower tower but only 9 meters behind the upper tower.

Toni wrote some software that Walter uses to determine the sizes of the towers and the lengths of the cables so he can cut everything out before construction begins.

We'll take another look at this interesting bridge tomorrow.
Creative Commons License
Ecuador's Bridges: Puente Rio Baba (3) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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