Lateral Buckling Analysis of a Cable-Stayed Arch

A slender cable-stayed arch and a central box girder deck with lateral cantilevers stand as the main structural elements of the bridge

The stability phenomenon of the lateral buckling of a cable-stayed arch imposes restrictions on the design of the arch itself. The cable-stayed arch on one of the three bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava in Reggio Emilia, Italy,  is a brilliant  example of how computer aided engineering can assist engineers to contrive an optimal solution to the problem of lateral buckling. The bridge, a major engineering feat by any measure, fulfills the aim of solving road network issues in and out of the city whilst creating a majestic and aesthetically pleasing landmark. The design was not simple. Since the results of data analysis could cause a rethink in design, it was extremely important to address lateral buckling and cable failure scenarios in the early stages of the project.

The three bridges stand majestically across the busy Autostrada del sole (A1), a major freeway joining Northern and Southern Italy and the new high speed railway tracks. They represent an architectural masterpiece that was designed by the world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava who received the prestigious European Steel Design Award for this design.

The steel construction was the work of Cimolai S.p.A., a leader in the European steel manufacturing industry, who entrusted Enginsoft with the verification of the global and detail finite element analysis before construction of the main bridge.


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