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Table of Contents
Table of Figures......................................................................................................... 2
Executive Summary................................................................................................... 3
Problem Statement.................................................................................................... 3
Introduction............................................................................................................. 4
Time line for Construction.......................................................................................... 5
Design of Bridge...................................................................................................... 5
Structure................................................................................................................ 8
Materials............................................................................................................. 11
Conclusion.............................................................................................................. 18
References.............................................................................................................. 18
Appendix............................................................................................................... 19

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Table of Figures
Figure 1 - Location of Bridge......................................................................................... 4
Figure 2 - Foundations.................................................................................................. 8
Figure 3 - Cross section of Bridge....................................................................................9
Figure 4 Section Towers........................................................................................... 10
Figure 5 - Cross section of Cable...................................................................................12
Figure 6 - Cable Composition....................................................................................... 12
Figure 7 - Construction Phases...................................................................................... 14
Figure 8 - Aerial View of Bridge................................................................................... 16
Figure 9 - Bridge in service.......................................................................................... 17
Figure 10 Location.................................................................................................. 19
Figure 11 - Scheme Foundation..................................................................................... 19
Figure 12 - Shower different parts of the Foundation of the Tower..........................................20
Figure 13 Elevation of bridge..................................................................................... 20
Figure 14 - Bridge Profile............................................................................................ 21
Figure 15 - Bridge Dimensions..................................................................................... 21
Figure 16 - Interval After Earthquake.............................................................................22
Figure 17 - Tower Section........................................................................................... 23
Figure 18 - Axes Section............................................................................................. 23
Figure 19 - Main Cables.............................................................................................. 24
Figure 20 - Injecting dry air System............................................................................... 24

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Executive Summary
The following case study is done on the Akashi bridge located in japan. In this paper,
we will be reviewing the history of the Akashi bridge and discuss what created the innovation
construct the Akashi Suspension Bridge. The design philosophy and the construction
techniques of the Akashi suspension bridge will also be looked at as it is the worlds longest
spanned bridge that crosses high current waterways.
Some of the techniques used during the construction process were around dangerous
environments where employees work on land and under water. Their creation of new
materials was developed to assist the new conditions as the complex structure was assembled
and constructed. There were a couple problems that was encountered during the design and
construction stages.
The main purpose of this bridge was to support the traffic load that would be using the
6-lane freeway. One main criterion that was necessary for this to happen was the bridge had
to carry its own self-weight. The load that was coming on the bridge was distributed as
ninety-one percent to support its own weight and the remaining nine percent was used for
traffic load. This basic concept consisted of erecting and passing the steel cables through the
tower whereby the girder was connected to the cable by means of hanger cables.

Problem Statement
The Japanese government decided to construct the Akashi bridge in 1985 and
commenced surveys. Engineers and architects were challenged with great tasks ahead of
them and had developed a solution to the design condition present for the construction of this
bridge. The first main problem faced was the difficulties with the width of the Akashi straits
and the route where the bridge is proposed to span which reaches a depth of approximately
one hundred and ten meters. The challenging design in terms of the span and depths was
never achieved in bridge engineering.
A Second problem encountered by engineers was the depth of the water where the
main pier was proposed to be as it was estimated to be at forty-five meters in depth. It
consisted of tidal currents of four meters per second with the wave heights reaching a
maximum of nine point four meters whereby this posed as extremely dangerous condition to
construct this pier.
The engineers had a great challenge in constructing a bridge of that span and height
with respect to the wind conditions as it was so unusual that it travelled at two hundred and
ninety kilometres per hour whereby no bridge was ever designed for.
Another main problem that the construction of the Akashi bridge was faced with is the
pitiable geological conditions. At the Kobe end of the bridge, the geological conditions were
of alternating layers of sandstone and mudstone in the Miocene whereas on the Akashi side
the geological condition there consisted of a semiconsolidated sand and gravel layer. In the
early Pleistocene and late Pliocene, there was a crucial issue of where the bedrock was not
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sufficient to anchor the cable which is used to suspend the entire deck and loading throughout
the bridge.
The proposed site for the Akashi bridge was located in a major earthquake zone where
an earthquake occurred approximately one hundred and fifty kilometres away. This posed a
serious problem as the earthquake reached a magnitude of eight points five on the rector
scale.
The engineers who worked on the Akashi bridge were then faced with a great
challenge as they would have created innovative and technological methods to counteract
these problems.

Introduction
The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge is the worlds longest bridge which took ten
years to construct. The Physical materials for the bridge were one hundred and eighty-one
thousand tonnes of steel, fourteen hundred thousand cubic metres of concrete and sufficient
steel cable which is serval times the diameter of the World. The Akashi bridge is three
thousand, nine hundred and eleven meters long and its height is two hundred and eight three
meters high which makes it the most expensive bridge ever built with an ending figure of
five hundred billion yen dollars.

Figure 1 - Location of Bridge


The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge is designed to hold six lanes and it connects
the island of Awaji and the city of Kobe. The perception of crossing the Akashi Straits by
means of a bridge became imperative after an unfortunate disaster in 1955. This disaster
involved the collision of two ferries in the shipping land in which one hundred and sixtyeight children and adults died. After the damages was done the political pressure was adverse
and the construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Suspension bridge began by the year 1988. The
original plan before its restriction was to construct a road bridge along with a railway.

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Based on research the following is information on the architecture of the structure:


The bridge has three spans. The central span is 1,991 m (6,532 ft.), and the two other
sections are each 960 m (3,150 ft.). The bridge is 3,911 m (12,831 ft.) long overall. The
central span was originally only 1,990 m (6,529 ft), but the Kobe earthquake on January 17,
1995, moved the two towers sufficiently (only the towers had been erected at the time) so that
it had to be increased by 1 m (3.3 ft). The bridge was designed with a two-hinged stiffening
girder system, allowing the structure to withstand winds of 286 kilometres per hour (178
mph), earthquakes measuring to 8.5 on the Richter scale, and harsh sea currents. The bridge
also contains pendulums that are designed to operate at the resonance frequency of the bridge
to damp forces. The two main supporting towers rise 297 m (978 ft.) above sea level, and the
bridge can expand because of heating up to 2 metres (7 ft.) over the course of a day. [1]

Time line for Construction


1959 - Ministry of Construction commenced highway study.
1970 - Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority founded.
1973 - Ministry of Construction approved construction plans.
1985 - Government decided to construct the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge.
1986 - the Geological study of construction site commenced.
1987 - Construction survey for tower foundation commenced.
1988 - On-site construction commenced.
1998 - Opened for traffic.

Design of Bridge
The bridge design consists of stiffening girder system that allows the entire structure
to withstand earthquakes that are 8.5 on the Richter scale, 286 km/h winds, and severe sea
currents. The Akashi-Bridge also has pendulums designed to damp forces. This caused the
bridge to expand up to 2 meters a day because of heating and is located at a height of 280
meters.

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The Akashi Strait is a busy port, so engineers had to design a bridge that would not
block shipping traffic taking the bad weather pattern that Japan has into consideration seeing
that they are prone to high winds, Rain fall, Hurricanes, earthquakes and even tsunamis.
They supported the bridge with a truss beneath the roadway because the open network
of triangle braces makes the bridge very stiff and allows the wind to blow through the
structure. In addition, engineers placed 20 tuned mass dampers in each tower. The tuned mass
dampers swing in the opposite direction of the wind sway. The wind blows the bridge in one
direction and the Tuned Mass Dampers will sway in the opposite direction which will then
balance the bridge and cancel the sway that would have been produced. Based on this design,
the Akashi bridge can handle one hundred and eighty miles per hour winds and can withstand
earthquakes up to a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale.
The Akashi bridge design looked at special considerations in which the effect of the structure
will have on the environment. The appearance of the towers was designed to meet the
aesthetic issues, future, reliability, and balance in the view of the structural characteristics of
the tower and the aesthetic characteristics of the surrounding. The anchorages were designed
to make the huge concrete structures seem small and balanced and include special shapes and
exterior wall cladding.
These towers would be very tall due to the catenary curve requirement to suspend the
Akashi bridge deck. They couldnt use the stone towers because they needed slender towers
so the sea traffic below wouldnt be affected which will not affect the aesthetics of the bridge.
The tower would have to be lighter as well in order to allow less surface tension due to the
high wind velocity.
The designer then decided to build the towers out of steel, but in order for the towers
to be lighter, they came up with the design that used steel sheets which was formed into block
clusters into cells. This created a steady honeycombed like cross-sectional design rather than
solid steel towers. The tower constituted of 90 blocks, with its cruciform design is insensitive
to the oscillation of the wind at that height.
Dampers was used to counteract the oscillating movement of the tower, which was
anticipated during the erection and to remain in place as a completed effect. This slenderness
of the towers enables it to flex rather than buckle under the tension. The shafts of the tower
composed of three blocks, where each block was divided into 30 tiers. Each block was
fabricated in the factory so that they could have gotten the precision which they did by
making checks with surveying equipment.

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All the grinding, welding and cutting had to be closely monitored to ensure optimum
strength and precision when being placed. The sections were pulled and erected with a selfclimbing tower crane, joint by high-tension bolts. It was then coated with newly developed
fluorine-resin paint, which is very durable, and to exert anticorrosive performance it was
coated with zinc-rich paint. The tower of the Akashi bridge stands at 300m tall, which is the
highest in the world, 70m taller than the Golden gate bridge towers.
As the Akashi bridge gets higher the span gets longer, the bridge deck will flex and
bend more because it is now greatly exposed to the high-velocity winds which gust across the
Akashi straits. The deck had to carry six lanes, so the engineers had to design a bridge to
withstand this high gust wind.
Engineers realized that due to the high gusty winds they needed to create a slimmer
deck edge to deflect the wind, but the velocity was extremely high and this will induce
resonance street. When designing a deck in bridge engineering the resonance effect and
aerodynamic is considered in structure experiencing this wind speed.
This is when a system has the tendency of oscillating at high amplitude at a particular
frequency, which is the systems natural frequency. In this case, the frequencies created by
wind velocity. The increase in amplitude results in higher vibration of the structure. This was
one of the major cause of the collapse of the Taco narrows bridge failure, together with aero
elastic fluttering and torsional oscillation.
To mitigate against that reaction, the designer decided to resist against the winds
rather than deflect it. To engineer this, the bridge deck will have to be stronger, but also to
allow the winds to pass through so not to create a high load. So where in the Verrazano
Narrows Bridge, engineers utilized an open box concept deck section which was strong and
heavy to resist against the winds. The designers of the Akashi bridge again optimise on
historical concepts, where they develop. Utilizing the same streamlined box girder, they
selected truss-stiffened girder, forming an array of metal lattice work, triangular in geometry.
The box lattice was 14m depth and is 35.5 m in width and gives a clearance of 65 m.
This design allows aerodynamic stability and also making it easier to erect. But the deck of
the Akashi bridge also faces another great force way more than the normal high wind speed,
the bridge is located in a high-risk typhoon area. For precise evaluation of the aerodynamic
stability of such a long span bridge, Japanese engineers conducted conduct 3-dimensional test
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with aero-elastic bridge model. Where they build one of the world largest wind tunnels, to
explore the bridge limits. At one hundredth of a scale, the model stands at a huge 40m long,
to achieve optimum test results.
Hugh fans generate an equal to 300 km/h wind speed A flutter analysis method was
established, to calculate the most critical wind fluttering. So engineers can test and refine
their designs. The wind tunnel test gave results that engineers should deflect the winds also
rather than only resist it. They accomplished this by fitting a steel beam spine centre at the
top of the box lattice, where the wind will be deflected when in contact with the beam, and
the wind deflecting upwards through a space in the deck middle of directional carriageways,
neutralising its destructive effect.
This will ensure the bridge deck withstanding an amazing wind speed of 300 km/h.
the truss members of the bridge deck was preassembled at the site into the plane panel,
hoisted to the proposed deck level at the main towers using traveller cranes. Vertical
suspender fastened to the main cable curve, connecting to the girder section which hangs the
deck, without disturbing the heavy sea traffic below. Due to the superior method of securing
against aerodynamic stability during erection, a 6 lane deck for motor vehicular traffic and
accommodate vehicular speeds of 100 km/h. apart from the bridge deck rigidity, it had a
flexible design, which enabled it to displace 8 m upward, 5 m downward displacement and
displace horizontally 27 m in each direction
Structure
The total weight of the superstructure is distributed as follows: 46.200tn tower, 57.700tn
cables, beams 89.200tn.

Foundations

Figure 2 - Foundations

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There were two main springs that was used as an extension for laying the foundations of the
towers which had the largest diameter of 80 meters and the other 78 meters where each
anchor required an average of 350,000 tons of concrete.

Figure 3 - Cross section of Bridge


There were deep foundations that were built on reclaimed land with many new technologies.
All the foundations were well designed to cope with the strongest earthquake as well as a
seismic design method of new research.

Dampers

In the two main towers, there were twenty mass dampers pivoting in the direction opposite to
the wind. When the wind blows on one side of the bridge the dampers sway in the opposite
direction, effectively balancing the bridge and contrasting the influence of wind. By
strengthening the beams with two hinges allowed the structure to withstand winds of 290
km/hour, earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 8.5 on the Richter scale and strong currents.
The bridge also contained pendulums which were intended to operate at the resonant
frequency of the bridge to dampen the forces.

Towers

The two main supporting towers rise 282.8 meters above sea level, 297.30m to the end of the
anchor cable, the bridge can be expanded by the heat of up to 2 m in the course of a day. Steel
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cables with a diameter of 112cm contain 36,830 lines of wire. The bridge is supported by two
cables basically, the central section, considered the toughest in the world constructed.

Figure 4 Section Towers


The primary tower is made of steel, and the shaft has a cruciform cross section which is
insensitive to wind-induced oscillation. However, tuned mass damper is installed within the
shafts to suppress oscillation is anticipated that during erection of the tower, and even at the
stage of completing the bridge. A shaft of the tower is divided into 30 levels and almost all
levels are composed of 3 blocks. Each block was made in factories and transported to the site
and then hoisted by crane climbing tower that had a lifting capacity of 160 tons. Articulating
high tension bolts were used to connect field.

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A foundation of the main tower weight of 120,000 in weighing bridge from the main towers
footbed transmitted. The footbed, 60 meters under water, was excavated by a dredger bucket.
To overcome the difficult conditions of the strait, including deepwater strong currents and
waves that caused vibration in the dredger during excavation, high-tech devices are used,
such as Remotely Operated Vehicle System. The drawers are installed using the "method of
adjustment", which involved the manufacture of the drawers in a factory, then towed to the
site, submerging, and eventually, filling underwater concrete. The circular-shaped drawer has
no directional property, and thus makes them more stable and easier to handle in strong
currents of the Strait. The construction of the stiffening beam, by the method of flat blocks,
begins in the towers and main anchors, where a floating crane was used to install six cell
blocks in the towers, and 8 anchors.

Circulation ways

The 4km of the pathway for vehicles that crosses the Akashi Strait is divided into 6 lanes. Is
suspended and supported by the cables cover is held by its own weight, resulting in thousands
of steel beams positioned to form a triangular grid. It took 15 months to put the 280 beam
sections. As added reinforcement, below deck, a vertical stabilizer with a form like the fin of
a plane that runs through the center of the bridge and balances the pressure, both below and
above deck. A steel mesh was placed in the center and side rails to allow passage of the wind.
Materials
The main material used in the bridge superstructure is steel. Has also been used reinforced
concrete. For the foundation, underwater towers developed a new type of mixing a "concrete
submarine that is not broken" (a "disintegration concrete).

Lighting

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge has a total of 1,737 light fixtures: 1084 for the main cables, 116
for the main towers, beams and 405 to 132 for the anchors. In the main cables are placed
three high capacity lighting tubes, red, green and blue. The RGB model and computer
technology contribute in making a wide variety of combinations. A minimum of 28 patterns is
used for special occasions such as regional public holidays or commemorations.

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Cables

The length of the cables used in the bridge amounts to 300,000 kilometers, enough to circle
the earth 7.5 times. Steel cables with a diameter of 112cm contain 36,830 lines of wire.

Cable Specifications:

The method of construction: PS (Precast Strand) - ultimate tensile strength cable: approx.
62,500 tonnes
Resistance to high tensile rope hanger approx. 560 tons - Material: galvanized steel wire of
high resistance

Figure 5 - Cross section of Cable

Figure 6 - Cable Composition


Tensile cable: 180 kg / mm 2 - Cable diameter: 1122 mm (not including packaging)
Composition: 5.23 mm wire diameter * 127 / * 290 stranded wire / cable wire * 2 -Total
Number of Conductors: 36830
Strand Length: 4,071m - 4,074m - Total cable length: 300,000 km
Weight of main steel cable: 50,500 tons - suspension ropes, ashlar: 7,200 tons

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Beams
Each beam was made of 90.000tn reinforcement steel. Due to the large size of the bridge, the
wind load which must face is higher than that of any other existing bridge when construction
was completed. Using steel with high tensile strength for the beams made very strong yet
lightweight, and thus cheaper. The reinforcing elements were prefabricated shaped panel were
transported to the construction site where they were erected into the interior of the anchorages
and towers with floating cranes.
Maintenance
In order to make a proper, new technologies have been investigated for the proper
maintenance and long life of the bridge. Among them the "air injection system dry". This
system protects the main cable corrosion The system consists of injecting dry air into the
main cables to maintain a constant humidity inside thereof. This is a revolutionary idea
because the cost of periodic maintenance is avoided.
The towers and suspended structure coated with newly developed fluorine resin paint, which
has high durability. This coating system, zinc-rich paint, put directly on the steel surface
makes an important prevention work before the advancing corrosion.

CONSTRUCTION
The construction of the Akashi Bridge was divided into 4 stages such as:
Stage 1:- The Construction of tower foundation.
Stage 2:- Construction of towers.
Stage 3:- Fixing of steel cables to towers.
Stage 4:- Placing the roadway.

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Figure 7 - Construction Phases


During the design and construction, many problems were encountered. According to Wai Tak
Yim, the first difficulty they faced in the bed of the Akashi strait was the erection of the
towers. Based on the huge depth of one hundred and ten meters with the presence of currents,
the typical method of building a foundation based in their practice of placing pre-cast
concrete cylinders on top each other was abandoned and a new solution was made. They
made two enormous steel moulds in the dry docks and then towed it into the sea and sunk it
at the precise location. The steel moulds used is seventy meters tall, eighty meters wide and
weighed about fifteen thousand tonnes. The moulds were then sunk by filling it with
seawater. The next problem encountered was filling the mould with concrete. Since the mould
contained seawater the concrete could not set and the Japanese engineers invented a new type
of super-concrete which hardened in seawater. (2007, P 3)

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Stage 2:- Construction of towers.


The towers are designed for loads due to the earthquake and also its self-weight therefore it
was decided to construct the towers using steel reinforcement. The towers were made up of
ninety blocks and upon completion of this, the second stage was completed. The towers now
had to be tested. They placed a dozen of their workers on the top of the tower and asked them
to sway on it in order to test the earthquake load.
Stage 3: - Fixing of steel cables to towers.
The third stage comprised of installing the cables onto the tower. One cable was made up of
thirty-seven thousand strands of entwined wire such that a super-strength steel wire had to be
developed for this. The cable was then threaded over the tower using a helicopter and the
cable was lifted from Kobe after it has been threaded and then tied at the Awaji end. The next
stage began with the construction and placement of the six-lane roadway. The bridge deck
had to be strong enough to support traffic as well as its self-weight and slender enough to
allow the wind to pass through it. The deck was made of steel girder which was arranged in a
triangular shape. They then strengthen the bridge by giving it a vertical stabilizer throughout
its entire length so that when the wind blows the stabilizer will balance the pressure below the
roadway and reduce the vibration. To stop the pressures from building up and to allow the
winds to pass through a steel mesh grating was installed along the sides and centre of the
bridge.
Stage 4: - Placing the roadway.
Changes were made in the final phase due to the earthquake in Kobe. The placing of the
roadway differed due to the earthquake which caused the towers to move sideways over a
metre. This increased the length of the bridge by a full metre. The engineers after analysing
decided to space the anchor cable further apart in order to facilitate the extra length of the
bridge.

Based on the foresight of the engineers, the bridge did not sustain many damages when the
earthquake had struck even though the epicentre was just 4 km away from the bridge. The
structure did not incur any extensive losses that might have resulted in the collapse of the
bridge due to the non-construction of the roadway. The bridge towers were flexible to the
effect of the earthquake because it was constructed of steel and it consisted of twenty shock
absorbers within each tower although it shifted one meter apart.

New Techniques used During Construction


The engineers of the Akashi Bridge showed great potential when the showed some
innovations such as casting the foundation in steel moulds when laying of concrete cylinders
on top one another was not possible due to the ocean. A strong strength of concrete was
created to assist the fast setting of the cement because of the seawater. They then developed a

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stronger cable that was 5 millimetres thick simply by changing the proportions of the alloys
thus creating a strong enough cable to handle the weight.

Figure 8 - Aerial View of Bridge

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Figure 9 - Bridge in service

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The total cost incurred of the bridge was $4.3bn. The cost was endured by
the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority. The high cost of construction was due to the seismic
design elements that had to be incorporated.
Conclusion
The Akashi Bridge is located at a place where the weather and sea are very dangerous not
withstanding that it is in an earthquake zone. Although with all the dangers and challenges
that existed, this did not demotivate the determination and dedication of the Japanese
engineers. The Akashi Bridge is set as a benchmark for all future bridges and will give
motivation to engineers all over the world. Engineers have done well to create a structure of
that size conquering all the problems and challenges that they faced and proving that
engineering can make it happen.

References
Anon., 2016. Akashi Kaiky Bridge. [Online]
Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashi_Kaiky%C5%8D_Bridge
[Accessed 24 September 2016].
Anon., 2016. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Design, Construction and Structural Details. [Online]
Available at: http://www.aboutcivil.org/akashi-kaikyo-suspension-bridge-designconstruction.html
[Accessed 15 September 2016].
Anon., 2016. Design and construction of foundations for Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. [Online]
Available at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?
q=cache:Fc6Vo3wb05QJ:www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng%3Fpid%3Dbse-re003:1999:80::45+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=tt
[Accessed 15 September 2016].
Anon., 2016. En.wikiarquitectura.com. [Online]
Available at: https://en.wikiarquitectura.com/index.php/Akashi_Kaiky%C5%8D_Bridge
[Accessed 16 September 2016].
Anon., 2016. Famouswonders.com. [Online]
Available at: http://famouswonders.com/akashi-kaikyo-suspension-bridge/
[Accessed 15 September 2016].
Anon., n.d. http://www.ams.ir/jozavat/Shegeftiha/Chapter2/akashi.pdf. [Online]
[Accessed 15 September 2016].
Usman, N., 2010. AKASHI KAIKYO BRIDGE. [Online]
Available at: http://seminarsincivil.blogspot.com/2010/12/akashi-kaikyo-bridge.html
[Accessed 15 September 2016].

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Appendix

Figure 10 Location

Figure 11 - Scheme Foundation

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Figure 12 - Shower different parts of the Foundation of the Tower

Figure 13 Elevation of bridge

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Figure 14 - Bridge Profile

Figure 15 - Bridge Dimensions

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Figure 16 - Interval After Earthquake

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Figure 17 - Tower Section

Figure 18 - Axes Section

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Figure 19 - Main Cables

Figure 20 - Injecting dry air System

Color

The gray-green paint used for AKB is different from the color used on other bridges HonshuShikoku sistma linking the islands. This color was chosen because it is a modern color that
blends well with a cityscape and is active, but gentle, beautifying the colors of sea and sky
Strait. To reduce maintenance requirements, a final coat of paint highly resistant
fluoropolymer was used to maintain the shine and prevent corrosion.

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