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What is a Stressed Ribbon Bridge?

What is a Stressed Ribbon Bridge?

Stressed ribbon bridges are a tensile structure that is based upon a suspension bridge mechanism but the deck is directly loaded on the tensioned catenary-shaped cables suspended in between two abutments.

Also known as ‘catenary bridges’, these bridges are stressed due to tension, unlike simple spans which subsequently increase the structural stiffness. For multiple spans, the bridge supports hold the upward thrusting arcs which permit a change in grades, in between the spans

Stressed ribbon bridges are generally constructed using a special type of reinforced prestressed concrete where steel tensioning cables are used as reinforcement in the concrete. These high-strength cables combined with prestressed concrete provide adequate stiffness to maintain the shape of the bridge against oscillations and overturning movements.

To allow the movement of vehicles on stressed ribbon bridges the concrete is stressed in compression that is achieved by inducing an adequate degree of stiffness in the bridge structure to avoid excessive structural bending.

This is one of the oldest bridges that have been used as an alternative cost-effective solution to heavy and expensive bridge constructions in European countries. Stressed ribbon bridges have many advantages such as they can be easily assembled and constructed, demand the least falsework, self-weight is very low, require the least long time maintenance, and gel with the environment quite well.