Considered the finest example of structural engineering ever built, Taizhou Bridge, won top accolades from professional organizations as the world’s first long-span, three-pylon suspension bridge. The bridge carries six lanes of traffic across the two wide navigation channels of the mighty Yangtze river and connects drivers from the cities of Taizhou, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang and Changzhou in Jiangsu, China, invigorating economic development in that region.
The Jiangsu Provincial Yangtze River Highway Bridge Construction Commanding Department commissioned AECOM as a design consultant for this project, given the company’s reputation of excellence and innovation in long–span bridge work. The challenges of building the world’s first long-span suspension bridge of this integral configuration across the longest river in Asia did not intimidate AECOM’s long-span bridge experts.
AECOM’s team expanded on the experience gained from the design and construction of theSutong Bridge, another award-winning long span bridge in Jiangsu, China, to provide invaluable design and specialist input to the Taizhou Bridge. Considerable research and development efforts were applied to solve the issues created by the asymmetric live loading, which is the unique feature of this bridge.
Additional research included:
- Fatigue investigation and assessment of the central steel pylon when subjected to wind loading, traffic loading and their combination;
- Fatigue analysis and assessment of the orthotropic steel plated deck girder when subjected to traffic loading;
- Provision of design and detailing recommendations for optimizing the welded connections.
The state-of-the-art design was prolific in innovations, including a central pylon that was required to be both stiff and yet sufficiently flexible, along with having pioneered five new world records:
- The first long-span, three-pylon and two-main-span (2 x 1,080 meters) suspension bridge;
- The tallest central pylon with a height of 200 meters;
- The deepest underwater bridge caisson foundation for the central pylon;
- The longest suspension cable with two, 3,110-meter long main cables; and
- The first concurrent erection of two long suspended deck girders in an integral suspension bridge system.