Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lupu Bridge Amazing High Technology Bridge in Shanghai

The Lupu Bridge is located in Shanghai, China. It is currently the seventh crossing to be constructed over the Huangpu River in the city. The bridge is located in the south of the city with the aim to ease congestion in the quickly developing areas around the southern side of the river and the city centre and also to help with the increasing traffic expected at the 2010 world Expo. The venue for this is set to be surrounding the river at the location of the bridge, so it will not only be a vital part of the infrastructure for this event, it will also act as a showpiece for Chinese engineering.

The Lupu bridge was officially opened in June 2003 at a total cost of $302 Million US. On completion the Lupu Bridge was the largest spanning arch bridge in the world with a main span of 550m overtaking the New River Gorge Bridge in the United States by 32m. This record is set to be broken in 2008 by the under construction Chaotianmen Bridge in China by only 2m. The total length of the bridge is 3,900m including the approach bridges on either side of the river. The bridge was originally heavily criticised as it was seen as wasteful by many people in respect to the type of bridge that was actually needed for the project.

Many feel that it is just a show piece for the city and the price tag reflected that status. Other designs were proposed that would have been more economical but were rejected in favour of the tied arch design. The Lupu Bridge is a steel box section throughtied arch bridge. The central span of the deck is suspended from two sets of 28 double cables attached to the two inclined arches. The ground conditions on either side of the bridge are not suitable for the large thrusts that would be caused by a normal arch bridge and this is what lead to the decision of using a through tied arch which will be discussed further later in this paper. Below are two elevations of the bridge, the side profile and a view looking longitudinally along the deck.

The structure should be well ordered in that it has a coherence and fluency about the lines and shapes within it. The Lupu Bridge, being an almost entirely welded structure, has mostly smooth clean lines especially those of the arches. The line of the deck through the intersection of the arches keeps a fluid line through the centre of the bridge bringing the centre span together with the approach bridges on either side enhancing the continuity of the structure.

Equal spacing of the main cables enhances the well ordered nature of the bridge and this is mirrored in the supporting columns of the approach bridges although, due to the large number of columns, at oblique angles it can look confused and overcrowded. The function and structure of the Lupu Bridge are portrayed in an obvious and simple way with subtle refinements and complexities to add to the bridge’s aesthetic appeal. Under Leonhardt’s rules, the Lupu Bridge has many of the attributes that could make it beautiful. Bridge aesthetics are however a matter of personal opinion and what may be beautiful to one person may not necessarily be so to another.

Keywords: Lupu Bridge, Steel, Arch Bridge, Popular Bridge In China, Bridge


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