Are you one of those who keeps wondering about who invented what? And what is where? And why it's there? Or maybe other random things? OK good. So let's add to that list and tell you about the longest bridge in the world. Ready? Go...
More on the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge
Even though there are bridges which connect longer distances in the world, the longest bridge is considered that which has the longest connection from one point to the other without the use of an arch or pier underneath.
The Akashi strait over which it is built, is an extremely important shipping port. It is a very essential water body for the city of Kobe and the Aaji-Shima island and is therefore a very busy port. When the engineers built the bridge, they had to think of ways to do so without causing any blockage of shipping traffic.
Along with that, they had to construct it in such a way that it would be able to withstand some of the worst weather that Japan is privy to. Japan faces tsunamis, gale winds, heavy rainfall, hurricanes and earthquakes. In order to bear the brunt of these factors and yet be able to stand strong, the bridge had to be very, very durable and sturdy.
The engineers accomplished this feat by supporting the bridge with a truss. A truss is an intricate network of triangular braces. These were placed beneath the roadway. This network made the bridge very rigid and at the same time allowed the wind to blow through the structure.
The engineers also placed 20 TMDs (Tuned mass dampers) in every tower. When the wind begins to blow, these TMDs sway in the opposite direction such that they balance the sway. It is because of this design that the bridge can withstand winds of about 180 miles per hour and bear an earthquake measuring up to 8.5 on the Richter scale.
This bridge is also the tallest and most expensive suspension bridge. The two towers of the bridge stand at 928 feet and are higher than any other bridge towers in the entire world. The length of the cables that are used run to a total of 300,000 kilometers. The bridge is used by over 26,000 vehicles everyday.
The entire bridge was built in 10 years by over two million workers. It took steel worth 181,000 tons and 1.4 million cubic meters of concrete to build it. The bridge was completed and unveiled on the 5th of April 1998. The designer of the bridge is Satoshi Kashima.
Ever since its completion, this masterpiece has won many accolades. It won the George S. Richardson Medal due to its unparalleled achievement at the International Bridge Conference. This was given by the Engineer's Society of Western Pennsylvania.
Facts on the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge
- The bridge was supposed to be built for both, road and railway but in the end only the road bridge was sanctioned.
- The bridge was added with an extra 3 feet after the 1995 Hanshin earthquake.
- The total cost of the world's longest bridge was 5 billion US dollars.
- The bridge is owned and maintained by Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority.
So there you go, the Akashi-Kaikyō bridge is the longest bridge in the world and you now know some more facts of the same. Hope you enjoyed reading the piece.