Jefferson Barracks Bridge Mathematics Projects


Latitude/longitude coordinates are (38.486876,-90.277018)

The parabolic arch of the JB Bridge has a height of 182 feet over a span of 909 feet.

Project #1

A. Find the equation for the parabola that represents the JB Bridge.

B. Graph the arch of the bridge using a large sheet of graph paper.

C. Find the arc length of the parabola.


JB Bridge drawn from equations.

Project # 2 (Consortium, No. 53, Spring 1995, ISSN 0889 5392) "Geometry St. Louis Style" by William V. Thayer gave some data about the horizontal cable distance of 49 feet between each set with eight sets of cables from the center to one end of the bridge.

Show that the cable sets are located at intervals of 49.061, 49.424, 50.143, 51.202, 52.581, 54.256, 56.200, 58.386, and 77.985 feet along the parabola.

Also find the angle between the cable set and the tangent to the parabola at each location.

Thanks COMAP!



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with all rights reserved by
William V. Thayer, PedLog

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JB Bridge drawn from equations.

For more information and ideas about working with parabola projects you may link to a page written by one of the following math artists: Danielle, Darlene, Kellie, Jill, Nanyal, Kevin, Crystal, Rachel, Christina, Jennifer, Candice, Vincent Esther and Melinda. Most of us are in this picture but not in order of names.

Have Some
Math Fun!