World Aesthetic Foot Bridge

N Subramanian
Dr. N. Subramanian,
Consulting Engineer, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA
Current day footbridges are often built in the urban environment and hence may require collaboration between the architect and the structural engineer. Many types of structural materials such as steel, concrete, prestressed concrete, masonry, timber and fibre-reinforced plastics, and a number of different forms like simple beam, arch, truss, stress-ribbon, cable stayed, cable supported and a combination of these systems could be used efficiently in order to build aesthetic footbridges. A few earlier aesthetic bridges are listed and a few elegant recent footbridges are described. Serviceability problems encountered in a few footbridges and the methods adopted to overcome are also described. An introduction to the current trend of using biomimicry to develop efficient, economic, aesthetic and sustainable footbridges is also provided.

Introduction

Footbridges have a longer history than road or railway bridges. Ancient footbridges comprised of natural materials such as roots of trees, ropes, stones, masonry, and wood. Modern footbridges are built using reinforced concrete, steel, prestressed concrete, and fibre reinforced plastics. Though earlier footbridges were built using beams and arches, current footbridges are built in various configurations like inclined arch, trusses, stress-ribbon, cable stayed, cable suspended and a combination of these forms. In recent decades, footbridge designers have been able to push the boundaries of what is possible, much further than ever before. This is largely due to growing capabilities in computer visualization and analysis techniques, as well as developments in materials technology and other factors, with the result that creative designers are able to imagine and create more adventurous designs. However, such imaginative and creative designs should obey economic, environmental, social, and other constraints, in order that the built footbridges are safe, economical, durable, aesthetic and sustainable.

A bridge or a footbridge leaves an impression, and that impression remains as long as the bridge remains; hence bridge designers should strive to create something that is beautiful. Modern technology and tools provide ample opportunity to create dramatic bridges which not only provide safe passage but also result in creating adventurous structural and artistic expression. However, it is not always appropriate to build extravagant foot bridges, just because it is possible to do so, and in many cases the right solution may be much more modest and gentle.

A variety of special characteristics set footbridge design apart from other bridge work. Some of these special characteristics are (Wells and Clash, 2008):
  1. Live load actions are not significant in comparison with dead load actions; however dynamic behaviour must be carefully studied.
  2. The light loadings of footbridges, allow structures of extreme delicacy and simplicity to be built and make expressive or experimental designs economically viable.
  3. Unlike bridges (which are usually conceived, planned and designed by structural engineers), footbridges are built in urban environment and hence may require collaboration between the architect and the structural engineer. The relative input from them varies widely between projects. However, it is possible to build footbridges which are lightweight and have elegance and slenderness.
  4. Many types of structural materials such as steel, concrete, prestressed concrete, masonry, timber and fibre-reinforced plastics, and a number of different forms like simple beam, arch, truss, stress-ribbon, cable stayed, and cable supported systems could be used efficiently.
  5. As the user of a footbridge will have a slow speed, it will allow him/her to have a slow and measured interaction with the design of the bridge and its surrounding environment, which may demand the utmost attention to the design of its component parts. As the parts of a footbridge can be touched, the tactile and visual details must be carefully planned and executed.
  6. Construction technique can have a significant impact on form.
In this paper the approaches to aesthetic design is considered first, which is followed by a short description of some of the earlier aesthetic footbridges. A few modern footbridges are then listed with some details. One should not aim to construct aesthetic footbridges at the expense of economy and the built structure should serve the purpose, for which it was built, effectively. A few aesthetic footbridges that had serviceability problem of vibration are explained along with the remedial measures. The current trend is to build footbridges based on biomimicry- which will result in these looking differently and mimic natural things but also will be safe, efficient, economic, and sustainable.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.

Er. Vivek Abhyankar describes the steps and aspects of load testing of various types of superstructures, along with some cautionary measures and points to ponder upon by the designers, site engineers, and testing agencies. The information provided will be

Read more ...

Girders with corrugated steel webs represent a new innovative system which has emerged in the past decade. These girders have thinner webs, higher fatigue resistance, and are more economical, easier to fabricate, more aesthetic, and provide faster construction

Read more ...

The iconic National Namaste Signature Bridge in Delhi over the river Yamuna appears languid in perpetual motion in the tradition of the Calatrava’s Bridges in motion, symbolizing nationalism in its visual form. V N Heggade, FNAE, Structural Consultant, Mumbai

Read more ...

The former Prime Minister of India Shri H D Devagowda laid the foundation stone of the Bogibeel Bridge on January 22, 1997 at Kulajan (Assam). After 5 years of laying of the foundation, on April 22, 2002 the Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee

Read more ...

As part of Northeast Policy, the Ministry of Railways took up the project of providing rail connectivity to Imphal in Manipur state. As per the detailed survey, the rail alignment takes off from existing Jiribam

Read more ...

Brahmaputra is one of the longest river in Asia with a total length of 2880 km & out of which 920km (approx.) lie in India. The New Brahmaputra Bridge @ Tezpur is one of the most challenging one, in the attempt to bridge

Read more ...

The road and railway crossing across the Brahmaputra on National Highway-52B is located at Bogibeel, about 17km downstream of Dibrugarh in Assam. The location is an area of high intensity rainfall (the annual rainfall ranges

Read more ...

The world has progressed beyond imaginations. Similar to the field of IT, Civil Engineering has also taken several steps forward to bring out innovative technologies to meet challenges of this world’s aspirations. Going forward from

Read more ...

The bridge lies in the state of Assam, but this location is usually referred to as upper Assam as it is far away from Guwahati and bordering China. The nearest airport is Dibrugarh. Then there is a drive of 65km into the

Read more ...

The Infrastructure Industry is continuously evolving; new roads, elevated corridors, expressways, railways, dedicated corridors, metros, mono-rails are being constructed all the time. They also require constant

Read more ...

The 6.5 feet wide walkway in the Hongyagu Scenic Area in Hebei province hangs 755 feet above the ground, and is the world's longest bridge, which opened in 2017-end. Designed by Tel Aviv architect Haim Dotan

Read more ...

Prestressed Concrete (PSC) structures especially bridges are being largely used all over the world due to their multifarious advantages in terms of structural behaviour, economy as well as aesthetical

Read more ...

Four Span Pipe Bridge
Distressed structures require necessary remedial measures in order to restore their original structural properties like strength and stiffness. Validating the effectiveness of the proposed qualitative remedial

Read more ...

Thane Creek Bridge
Load testing is done to determine the safe load carrying capacity of structures, determining if specific legal or overweight vehicles can safely cross the structure or needs to be restricted and the level of post

Read more ...

Bridge in Central Kerala
Cement concrete is a versatile building material and is the second most consumed material in the world, after water. It is made using porland cement, coarse, and fine aggregates, water and one or more

Read more ...

Concrete Road Bridges
Planning, design and construction of bridges and flyovers is very challenging at places with space constraints. There has been rapid development with the availability of high strength steel and concrete

Read more ...

Integral Abutment Bridges
The conventional bridges use expansion joints and bearings to accommodate the thermal movements of the bridge. However, they don't completely eliminate the distress caused because

Read more ...

Bridge Restoration
The use and advantages of Post Tensioning are very well known in the Civil Engg Industry as it has been in use for the last 40 to 50 years. Post tensioning is one of the best methods to induce stresses in the concrete

Read more ...

Signature Bridge
Wazirabad Bridge or Signature Bridge Project is an initiative of Delhi Government, planned during the Commonwealth Games. It was conceptualized to be a landmark tourist icon that would also speed

Read more ...

×
Sign-up for Free Subscription
'India Construction Week'
Weekly e-Newsletter on Construction Industry
Get the latest news, product launches, projects announced / awarded, government policies, investments, and expert views.
Click here to subscribe.