Replacing Corroded Cables on a Cable-Stayed Bridge

by Juan Otaola, Jr., Precomprimido, C.A., Caracas, Venezuela,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1982, Vol. 52, Issue 9, Pg. 78-80

Document Type: Feature article


The cable-stayed bridge across Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo is among the longest bridges of its type. But after years of service, corroded cables threatened to snap, which would have resulted in structural collapse. As the original design consisted of two layers of suspension cables passing over each of the six main towers, replacing the cables without damaging the structure seemed nearly impossible, given time and cost constraints. The solution, a design consisting of a new top saddle and the use of auxiliary cables, not only made changing the cables possible but also allowed traffic to continue during repairs. Design and execution took a total of two years. The new design has considerably increased the lifespan of the bridge, and future maintenance and cable changing has been greatly simplifed.

Subject Headings: Cables | Cable stayed bridges | Corrosion

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