Build your scale model cable-stayed bridge with this guide
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If you've been enjoying our series of scale model civil engineering projects, then you'll love this one too. You can build your own tiny cable-stayed bridge and road network with this handy guide.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Metal wires
- Pliers and other tools
- Digging tools
- Metal sheeting
- Cement mix and sand
- Soldering kit
- Electrical wires, resistors, and soldering gear
With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.
Step 1: Prepare the ground
The first step is to find a suitable location for your bridge. In this case, a small brook has been chosen.
With that done, you can now begin the initial groundwork for your little bridge. First, plan the location of your bridge and drive in some piles into the stream's bed as needed.
With that done, we can now begin to make the frame for the bridge. Grab your wire, and bend it into shape and size to make the parts of the steel frame for the concrete supported and main bridge roadway.
This will take some time, so refer to the video for more details. With that done, you can now make some makeshift caissons in the river for the bridge's pillars. In this case, sheets or extruded steel are used, once done, pump out the water.
Excavate the ground inside, add the steel frames, mix up your cement and fill the caisson to make the foundations for each of the bridge's pillars.
Leave to cure and remove the caissons as needed. Rinse and repeat for all supports for the bridge.
Step 2: Make the main carriageway
With that main support now complete, we can begin to make the main deck. Make the deck anchor points around each pillar as shown in the video.
Once cured, remove any shuttering as needed. With that done, add some shuttering to the main cable-stay pylons as shown, and thread through the main cables for the suspension bridge.
With that done, fill the shuttering with cement and once again leave to cure.
With that done, begin to install the metal frames for the main deck, add more shuttering as needed, and fill with cement. Do this in sections and leave the previous section to cure before moving on to the next.
Rinse and repeat to complete the main deck across the entire span of the bridge.
When you reach the points around the main pylons, install the cable-stays to the deck as needed. Continue until the entire deck is constructed. If needed, complete the deck on either bank of the stream by building more shuttering and extending the deck into place as needed.
Step 3: Add roadways to the bridge
If desired, you can extend the project to include some roads on either bank of the river. To do this, excavate and level off the banks to build the course of the roads as needed.
With that done, lay more cement and level off, as needed, to complete the main roads. Ensure they also connect nicely with the entry and exit ways of the main bridge too.
Step 4: Add some lighting and other decorations
With the basic infrastructure now complete, you can continue with the build to add some decorative features and lighting. For example, you can add a barricade along the centerline of the bridge's deck to separate the "lanes".
To do this, simply build some shuttering and fill it with cement as before.
With that done, grab your paint and paint the roadways and deck of the bridge black. Leave it to dry, and then paint on some road markings as required.
If desired, you can then either build yourself or buy some scale-model fences, crash barriers, etc, and add them to the sides of the roads and bridge deck. For lighting, grab some lengths of LED lights and install them on the bridge as required.
You can also build or buy some scale-model street lights and install them on the bridge deck and roadways too. Run the wires to a central point to connect to a power supply as required.
With that, your miniature cable-stayed bridge is now complete. Now all you need to do is wait for nightfall, flip the power switch, and admire your hard work!
If you enjoyed this civil engineering project in miniature, you might enjoy making another? how about, for example, your own miniature dam?