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THE AKASHI-KAIKYO SUSPENSION BRIDGE - JAPAN

 

V. Ryan © 2004 - 2009

 
     

PAGE ONE

   

The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world and it is probably Japanís greatest engineering feat.

It took two million workers ten years to construct the bridge, 181,000 tonnes of steel and 1.4million cubic metres of concrete. The steel cable used would circle the world seven times.

It has six lanes and links the island of Awaji and the mainland city of Kobe, a distance of four miles. The concept of building a bridge across the Akashi Straits became urgent after a disaster in 1955. A ferry carrying over one hundred children sank after colliding with another ferry, in the busy shipping lane. One hundred and sixty eight children and adults died in the disaster. Political pressure for a bridge increased and in 1988 construction began.

 
   
 
     

 

     

The Akashi Straits is four miles wide at the bridge site with sea depths of one hundred metres and currents averaging fourteen kmph. The Akashi Straits is one of the busiest sea lanes in the world with over a thousand ships per day travelling through it. Furthermore, the bridge is in a typhoon region in which winds can reach speeds of 290 kmph.

     

     

The construction of a suspension bridge involves the use of two main cables stretching between two towers. The roadway beneath these is suspended by more cables. To stop the towers, roadway and cables collapsing, they are held at either end by large anchor blocks (the Akashi anchor blocks weigh 350 000 tonnes). In the case of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, suspension bridge technology was pushed to the limit.

     
 
     

QUESTIONS:

1. Draw a map of the location of the Akashi-Kaikyo Suspension Bridge

2. Draw a simplified Diagram of the bridge, labelling the important parts.

     

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