Timber Arch Bridges with V-shaped Hangers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The arch is a very efficient load bearing structure, especially when its shape is affine to the funicular of forces. However, if live loads are predominant as compared to permanent uniformly distributed gravity loads, the arch will be subjected to substantial bending moments, thus losing a great part of its structural efficiency. In traditional arch bridges with hangers arranged in a vertical manner, asymmetrical loads would cause a substantial deviation of the pressure line from the axial line of the arch. In this paper, an innovative concept for timber arch bridges is introduced where V-shaped hangers, rather than vertical hangers, are used. The adoption of V-shaped hangers significantly contributes to the reduction of the eccentricity between the pressure line and the axial line of the arch, thus decreasing the magnitude of bending moments in the arch. The paper discusses the advantages of using V-shaped hangers as an alternative to vertical hangers, both in terms of statics, in-plane stability and dynamic efficiency. Moreover, the design and the recent construction of a parabolic three-hinged arch made of timber, with a steel V-shaped hanger is thoroughly discussed in the paper.


  • Roberto Crocetti
  • Jorge M. Branco
  • Jorge F. Barros
External organisations
  • University of Minho
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies


  • Arch bridges, buckling, timber structures, V-shaped, vibrations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalStructural Engineering International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch