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History of the Modern Suspension Bridge

History of the Modern Suspension Bridge

History of the Modern Suspension Bridge

Solving the Dilemma between Economy and Stiffness

Tadaki Kawada, Ph.D.; translated by Harukazu Ohashi, Ph.D.; edited by Richard Scott, M.E.S.

ASCE Press

2010 / 262 pp.

Soft Cover - In Stock
$56.00 List / $42.00ASCE Member
Stock No. 41018 / ISBN: 9780784410189
E-book (PDF) - Available for Download in ASCE Library
$56.00 List / $42.00ASCE Member
Stock No. 47268 / ISBN: 9780784472682


"When he was thinking about how to build a bridge across the River Tweed, Sir Samuel Brown stopped while observing a spider's web. Right at this time he discovered the suspension bridge." —Charles Bender, 1868.

The English translation of Tadaki Kawada's landmark book traces the modern suspension bridge from its earliest appearance in Western civilization only 200 years ago to the enormous Akashi Kaikyo and Storebælt bridges completed at the end of the twentieth century. This book examines the conflicts, the bridge collapses, the colorful personalities, and the advancements that have shaped the development of the suspension bridge.

From John Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge to the legendary rivalry between Othmar Ammann and David Steinman, from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse in 1940, which Kawada explores in depth, to the closing of London's Millennium Bridge just three days after its opening, this book is a complete history of the modern suspension bridge—with a focus on the two essential factors in suspension bridge design, economy and stiffness, which are always in competition with one another. How do engineers reinforce the suspension bridge against the elements of wind and traffic, without sacrificing economy?

This book will appeal to anyone interested in engineering history and suspension bridges. Practicing engineers will find the charts, tables, and design formulas especially valuable.

About the Authors
Tadaki Kawada, Ph.D., is a renowned engineer and bridge designer who has designed some of the world's longest suspension bridges. He served as president and CEO of Kawada Industries, Tokyo, and is currently on the board of directors.

Harukazu Ohashi, Ph.D., (translator) is an executive officer of Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd., of Tokyo and previously held positions with the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority in Japan and Parsons Corporation in New York.

Richard Scott (editor) is a waterway heritage planner for Parks Canada, where he is currently responsible for planning along the Trent-Severn Waterway. He is the author of In the Wake of Tacoma (ASCE Press, 2001).

Praise for This Book 

"Anyone interested in suspension bridges from an engineering point of view or who appreciates the grace of such structures will enjoy tracing their development, which is so well documented in this book. ... This English translation of the Japanese work by noted engineer and suspension bridge designer Kawada provides a comprehensive history of these bridges and explains the issues related to economy and stiffness very well.  ... wonderful supplemental reading for anyone studying bridges...." Highly recommended. —H.I. Epstein, University of Connecticut, Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 2010.

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