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New suspension bridge to break world mark for tower height

New suspension bridge to break world mark for tower height

Posted April. 30, 2012 07:11,   


Winds were so strong that the body of a Dong-A Ilbo reporter was almost twisted. Waters off the city of Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, as seen through steel sheets flooring the tower’s deck caused dizziness.

A four-lane bridge highway looked like solid lines drawn on the blue ocean. The towers had a panoramic bird’s eye view over Mount Yeongchwi in Yeosu, the ridges of Mount Baekun, Cheonwang Peak on Mount Jiri, and the main towers of the Namhae Bridge. These are the breathtaking scenes visible from the main tower of the Yi Sun-shin Bridge, which rises 270 meters above sea level.

This bridge linking Gwangyang and Yeosu in South Jeolla Province will serve as the gateway to Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, which opens May 12. The bridge had been originally scheduled to open in October, but last-minute work pushed up the interim opening of this new landmark to next month.

Built by Daelim Industrial Co., the Yi Sun-shin Bridge is Korea`s first suspension bridge to be made solely with homegrown technology. On a suspension bridge, the main towers are erected at both ends or intermediate locations and the cable linked from the towers suspend the bridging sections.

Famous suspension bridges include the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Seohae Bridge in Korea.

The Yi Sun-shin Bridge has been built with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and will likely set a number of records. For one, the main towers linked with the cables are the world’s tallest at 270 meters, higher than those of the record holder Great Belt Bridge (254 meters) in Denmark.

Seo Yeong-hwa, chief of the project site for Daelim, said, “The towers are taller than Namsan N Tower (262 meters) and the 63 Building (249 meters) in Seoul. The bridge extends for 2,260 meters, making it the longest suspension bridge in Korea."

The bridging section between the main towers spans 1,545 meters, the longest in Korea and fourth longest in the world. It is far longer than that of the Golden Gate Bridge (1,280 meters). The longer the section between the main towers, the more advanced the technology.

Daelim Industrial Co. Vice Chairman Kim Yun said, “Just a few countries in the world can build suspension bridges, which are considered the ‘bread and butter of special marine bridges,’ with homegrown technology. They include the U.S., China, Japan, Britain and Denmark.”

“The construction of an ultra-large suspension bridge such as the Yi Sun-shin is unprecedented in the world, and the bridge will be temporarily opened in as a short time as four years and five months,” he said. “Using the successful construction of the Yi Sun-shin Bridge as a springboard, our company will become a global leader in the global market for suspension bridge construction.”