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The Suspension Section

The aesthetic centerpiece of the new East Span will be the Suspension section between Yerba Buena Island the Skyway. Designed to be a visually stunning gateway to the East Bay, the Suspension section is the bridge's signature component and the first single-tower self-anchored suspension span in the world.

In a self-anchored bridge, the main supporting cables are not anchored to large structures on the shore, as are the Golden Gate and west Bay bridges. Instead, the cables wrap around the perimeter of the roadway to support the bridge's weight.

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The Suspension Span: How They'll Build It

A single suspension cable will wrap over the tower and underneath the western end of the span, then wrap over the tower again and anchor in both roadway decks at the eastern end. Suspended cables will descend from the main cables to the outer edge of the deck to support the roadway and create a portal.

The design of the Suspension is intended to harmonize with the existing western span, the Golden Gate Bridge and the profile of Yerba Buena Island. To accomplish this the height of the tower was restricted to 530 ft., the same height of the west span towers. In addition, the arch of the suspension cable echoes those of the west side and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Suspension span's cables will complete the necklace of suspension bridges across the Bay.

The asymmetry of the main and back span also adds drama to the bridge's profile. By placing the tower near to Yerba Buena Island, designers created a back span of about 590 feet while the main span stretches toward Oakland about 1,270 feet.

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