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Conventional cables being stressed up on new suspension bridge

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Conventional cables made up of compacted galvanised wires covered in zinc paste, wrapping wire and three coats of flexible paint are being stressed up on the new Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge in Washington, USA. The cable construction is similar to that of the UK's Forth and Severn Bridges, both of which are now experiencing corrosion problems due to water ingress. But senior structural engineer for Washington State Department of Transportation, Tim Moore, is not worried as internal examination of the nearby 1950s-built Tacoma Bridge cables revealed only a little rusting. He added that molten plastic would be poured at breaks in the cable wrapping at hanger positions, to prevent water entering. The whole structure is also designed to accommodate a second deck and additional suspension cable which will allow cables to be replaced should rusting be detected later on. The new Tacoma crossing is being built parallel to the site of the infamous bridge, which collapsed due to wind-induced vibration in 1940.

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