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RE: Cable Stay Costs

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The Sundial Bridge can not be used as a representative cost. It has some
extraordinary features that increase cost extremely (glass deck, curved
tower base etc.) Or we can maybe use it as an absolute max.
Parsons designed a good looking pedestrian cable-stayed bridge in Salt
Lake City, Utah for the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is the "The Eccles
Legacy bridge".
Span Lengths are 170ft and 120ft. The deck width (out to out) is 22.15ft
--> total deck area = 6423sf.

Total construction cost was about 4 Million. However there was some
extensive landscaping, ramps and elevators. The actual bridge cost was
only about 2.08 Mio. 
Average bridge cost = $2,080,000 / 6423sf = $325/sf +-
(These are 2001 Dollars)

To keep in mind is that average bridge cost for pedestrian bridges based
on deck area can vary widely due to different project constraints. And
the deck area is usually small compared with highway bridges where the
"deck area method" is used extensively for first cost estimates. One
important thing is that the bridge engineer is the lead designer and not
the architect. The architect should be in a supporting role only. First
a bridge needs to be designed for functionality and not just looks. 
You mentioned something about a curve. I think a curve in a cable-stay
bridge design will also drive your cost up quite a bit.

I love to look at Calatrava designs and he actually has an architect as
well as a structural engineering degree. However lots of things or not
always designed for functionality and he is also notorious for cost

If you need anymore info on the Eccles Legacy bridge please contact me
I would be glad to help out.

Oliver Mueller
Bridge Engineer P.E.

Subject: RE: Cable Stay Costs
From: "Caldwell, Stan" <scaldwell(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>


If you use the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay in Redding, California as a
guide, your cable-stayed pedestrian bridge should cost about $15.3
Million.  That might not be entirely fair, since the Redding project was
designed by Santiago Calatrava and not by Paul Feather.  On the other
hand, using the same guide, your fee should be about $1.38 Million
(assuming 5% average annual inflation since 1996). =20 The Sundial
Bridge spans 217 feet.  It was originally estimated to cost $3.0
Million, but ended up costing approximately $23.5 Million.  That works
out to a whopping $108,295 per linear foot.  I hope that everyone
walking across this bridge adequately appreciates that each 30 inch step
represents well over a quarter million bucks.  In addition, the owner is
obligated to forever pay $130,000 annually to maintain, secure, and
insure the bridge.  Calatrava's fee for this outstanding edifice, in
1996 dollars, was $1.24 Million.  
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas    


From: Paul Feather [mailto:PFeather(--nospam--at)]=20
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 3:14 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Cable Stay Costs

Does anyone have any references for costs of cable stay bridge projects?
We potentially have a small cable stay curvilinear pedestrian bridge
(117 ft / 141 on the curve) connecting two different project phases, and
I am trying to develop some ball-park costs.

Thanks in advance
Paul Feather PE, SE

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