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The Longitudinal Arrangement of Cable-Stays

Longitudinal cable arrangements are the different ways in which the cable-stays in a cable-stayed bridge can be arranged. The most commonly used longitudinal cable arrangements are the Harp, Fan and Radial systems.

Harp/Parallel system:

The cables are arranged to run parallel to each other. This creates high levels of compression in the girder, although it is very aesthetic.

Fan system:

The cables in this system are anchored equidistant to each other on the pylon and can also be equidistant to each other at the deck, however the distance intervals at the pylon and the deck are not the same. This reduces the compression in the girder compared to the Harp system, and is the most used of the three.

Radial system:

The cables are all connected to the top of the pylon. This is beneficial as, due to the cable-stays having as great an inclination as possible, they provide the most vertical support to the girder, which reduces the need to strengthen the girder with reinforcements, making it lighter and less costly. However it can be a difficult system to design and install due to the proximity of the cable-stays at the top of the pylon.

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