The New York Times recently published a story titled, “A Bridge Built to Sway When the Earth Shakes,” which featured T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) as the lead designer for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. New York Times science reporter, Henry Fountain sat down with TYLI vice president Marwan Nader, PhD, to discuss the seismic innovations of the unique structure.
The article highlights key challenges TYLI engineers faced and also focused on innovative seismic engineering elements of the bridge. For everyone involved in the project, designing a bridge that can withstand the impact of an earthquake and limit the damage to just a few elements, has always been the main goal. As Dr. Nader described it, “We wanted to make this bridge flexible so that when the earthquake comes in, the flexibility of the system is such that it basically rides the earthquake.”
The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge includes a 1.2-mile twin, streamlined concrete segmental skyway approach, as well as a 525-foot-tall suspension bridge tower, made up of four steel shafts, which is designed to give the bridge the flexibility to sway during a major earthquake
At 2,047 feet in length, the asymmetrical span is considered to be the longest self-anchored suspension bridge in the world. The new bridge is expected to open around Labor Day 2013.
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