A linkage-based movable bridge form: Design and optimization

A. P. Thrall, S. Adriaenssens, I. Payá Zaforteza, T. P. Zoli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This paper explores a novel form for movable bridges which uses linkages as the main kinematic and structural elements. The proposed linkage-based movable bridge form was designed through 1) physical shape-finding, 2) generating a parametric model and kinematic equations, and 3) multi-objective structural optimization for minimum self-weight and minimum power for operation. Shape optimization is performed to determine the lengths and relative angles of members using a Multi- Objective Simulated Annealing algorithm. A nested sizing optimization procedure, using the Descent Local Search algorithm, designs the section profiles of members to meet the specifications of current American bridge design code. The ultimate result of this optimization procedure is a pareto-optimal set of solutions from which an engineer can choose based on design priorities. This case study meets the design requirements for the mobile section of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Design Competition (November 1998) for the crossing between Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 Structures Congress
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012
EventStructures Congress 2012 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Mar 29 2012Mar 31 2012

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2012 - Proceedings of the 2012 Structures Congress


OtherStructures Congress 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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