As we understand more and more about the materials to build suspension bridges, their shapes are going to become more bizarre and seemingly impossible. Architect Santiago Calatrava made this suspension bridge in Jerusalem to resemble the shape of a lyre, a stringed instrument popular during classical antiquity. This oddly-shaped suspension bridge will be completed this month, and stands at the gateway to the city, where it crosses over top of traffic so that pedestrians can cross the crowded roads without danger. It's the only suspension bridge to ever take this kind of shape.
According to Architectural Record:
Its gently curving span is suspended by 66 cables from a tilted 387-foot mast, anchored in concrete, that resembles a bolt of lightning. The mast is set at an angle to the deck of the bridge and it bends roughly halfway up, so the entire mast forms an angle of roughly 150 degrees. Cables are attached at various heights on its tapered top half, creating cross-hatched visual patterns as they seem to swirl out from the mast. At the sharpest bend of the bridge, the slightly concave, boat-shaped deck and the shape of the bend transfer the load to the ends of the bridge, which is 525 feet long; access ramps, clad in stone, add another 656 feet. A walkway on its southern side has glass decking and a glass railing.
Calatrava's Bridge in Jerusalem Incites Controversy [Architectural Record]