Engineering analysis and design software
Bridge design and engineering

Case Study

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Baker Bridge 

  • Low-cost practical cable stayed footbridge

  • Staged construction modelling

  • Time step analysis of pedestrian crowd loading

Baker Bridge in Exeter, UK, is an excellent example of a practical but eye-catching cable stayed footbridge designed for rapid erection and for a relatively low overall cost. It was designed by Hyder Consulting Ltd for Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club / Devon County Council. Hyder used LUSAS Bridge analysis software to assist with its design of the bridge and built a detailed model to mimic all stages of the construction sequence.



Baker Bridge comprises a single 42m high, steel A-frame tower that carries a three metre wide footway/cycleway an unusually high 12m above carriageway level. The tower supports a front-span of 72m and a back-span of 38m via 4 pairs and 3 pairs of cable stays respectively. The north-side abutment of the shorter back-span is also designed to act as a counterbalance. The legs of the tower are protected against vehicle collision by large concrete bases and feature simple bolted flange joints to speed erection.

To construct the bridge a temporary support tower was erected at the midpoint of the longer span and the steel deck units for both spans were assembled sitting simply supported at the supports. Once all were in place the deck units were welded together to create a continuous deck prior to stressing the cables to a predetermined value and an in-situ concrete deck was cast.

Thick beam elements modelled all members with plate elements representing the concrete deck. Because the footbridge provides the main pedestrian access to a rugby stadium the design of the slender deck required a detailed time-step analysis to investigate any potential dynamic effects that could be induced by the passage of large crowds. The LUSAS pedestrian loading wizard was used to achieve this.

The bridge was completed in 2007 at a total project cost of 650,000.


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Software Information

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Last modified: April 23, 2018.