The Tibetan Bridge Type

I have a question regarding the bridge type called "Tibetan Bridge". Recently close by my home town a new tourist attraction was built, the Highline 179 bridge. Highline 179 from Wikipedia

It was planned as the longest suspension bridge for pedestrians in the world, but before completion it was already outclassed by the Skypark Bridge in Sochi.

Now the Bridge is denoted as the longest Tibet-style pedestrian suspension bridge and I could not find information what a Tibet-style or Tibetan bridge is.

Other Tibetan Bridges

I could find other Tibetian bridges (e.g. Tibetan Bridge Claviere), but I could not find any information what Tibet style could be from an engineering perspective. The Wikipedia article on bridge types does not list this particular type.

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    $\begingroup$ My guess, after looking at other self-titled Tibetan bridges and and comparing them to the Skypark Bridge is that Tibetan bridges are effectively suspension bridges composed entirely of cables (or chains or other tensile-only parts) and are therefore probably quite flexible. The Skypark bridge, on the other hand, is a rigid structure composed of cables and beams. This, however, is a blatant guess after looking at a couple of pictures, so take it with a grain of salt. $\endgroup$
    – Wasabi
    Aug 10, 2015 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


The section on the precursor to modern suspension bridges, in the wikipedia article that you mentioned, talks about bridges of the "Tibetan saint and bridge-builder Thangtong Gyalpo" and points out that they "did not include a suspended deck bridge which is the standard on all modern suspension bridges today".

I confess I am only guessing, and haven't found anything definitive to back this up, but I infer that a "Tibet-style" suspension bridge is hence one which doesn't have a suspended bridge deck. What does this mean? In simple terms it means that the vertical cables (hangars) in a Tibet-style bridge are all the same length, such that the bridge deck has a significant sag in it. Modern bridges, with their suspended decks, have main cables with a significant sag, but varying lengths hangars such that the bridge deck is made (relatively) flat.


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