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IMOA’s »Stainless Solutions« e-newsletter covers a different stainless steel issue each month, with tips on design and specification, and links to technical resources.

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Cutting Edge Pedestrian Bridge Design

Pedestrian bridges allow designers to create unique sculptural structures which often become focal points and tourist attractions in addition to their primary purpose.  The most creative designs allow engineers to explore new materials and experiment with new design concepts. Some of the world’s most spectacular recent pedestrian bridges have used duplex and austenitic stainless steels in locations around the world.

With strength levels higher than carbon steel structural sections (36 or 50 ksi (250 or 450 MPa)), duplex stainless steels have become increasingly popular as a means to reduce structural section sizes and bridge weight.   A recent The Construction Specifier web article titled More on duplex stainless steel and bridges provides additional examples and information.

In November 2015, two spectacular arched duplex stainless steel bridges were announced for Fort York Park in Toronto. They are Canada’s first stainless steel bridges and were designed by Pedelta.

Another spectacular North American example is the multi-award winning San Diego Harbor Drive Bridge (2011). Designed by T.Y. Lin, it is one of the world’s longest (550 feet or 170 meter) self-anchored pedestrian bridges. High strength 2205 duplex stainless steel provided the required corrosion resistance given the harbor location, and made the elegant lightweight design possible. Credit Nathan Rupert

In the Middle East, the Lusail Development Project in Qatar includes two intertwined (656 feet or 200 meter) 2205 duplex stainless steel pedestrian bridges designed by Safdie Rabines Architects and T. Y. Lin.

There have been many spectacular stainless steel bridges in Europe because Eurocode 3 Part 1-4 was the first international design guidance for large austenitic and duplex stainless steel structural sections. The EuroInox brochure ‘Pedestrian Bridges in Stainless Steel’ provides several examples.

The Millennium Bridge in London is one of Europe’s best-known pedestrian bridges. Designed by Foster + Partners with structural engineers Arup, it was completed in 2000 and used Type 316 stainless steel. Credit Peter Trimming

In the US, the AISC Steel Design Code 27: Structural Stainless Steel was released in 2013 and also covers larger structural sections. China is expected to add stainless steel to its structural design codes in the near future. See our structural design resources for more information.