Stonecutters Bridge

Hong Kong’s Stonecutters Bridge spanning the Rambler Channel © Wilson Lee

New software is being developed to simulate the ability of Hong Kong’s Stonecutters Bridge to withstand natural disasters and long term use.

Spanning just over a kilometre, Stonecutters Bridge is the second longest cable-stayed bridge in the world (the longest being China’s Sutong Bridge across the Yangtze River). The bridge connects the southeast cape of Tsing Yi Island with Stonecutters Island, spanning the Rambler Channel.

Since its completion in 2009, Stonecutters Bridge has not yet been exposed to any large scale environmental disasters. Although safety features were incorporated into its design, planners are eager to test the bridge’s resilience to these scenarios, given the region’s susceptibility to typhoons, which have been known to damage similar bridges in other locations.

A structural health monitoring system was recently installed by the Hong Kong Highways Department (HyD) and researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University are working in collaboration with the HyD to develop software to simulate the effects of extreme events on the bridge, so that its structural soundness can be thoroughly assessed.

They will simulate strong hurricane-style winds, ground motion (that could be caused by earthquakes), ship collision with the bridge’s pylons and the combined force of heavy traffic and fluctuating winds. The results are anticipated towards the end of 2013, and will help optimise maintenance recommendations to ensure the bridge’s continued safety for many years to come.

For further information contact:

Professor Xu You-Lin
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University