Abstract Cable supported bridges are wind prone structures. Therefore, their aerodynamic behavior must be studied in depth in order to guarantee their safe performance. In the last decades important achievements have been reached in the study of bridges under wind-induced actions. On the other hand, non-conventional design techniques such as sensitivity analysis or optimum design have not been applied although they have proved their feasibility in the automobile or aeronautic industries. The aim of this research work is to demonstrate how non-conventional design techniques can help designers when dealing with long span bridges considering their aeroelastic behaviour. In that respect, the comprehensive analytical optimum design problem formulation is presented. In the application example the optimum design of the challenging Messina Strait Bridge is carried out. The chosen initial design has been the year 2002 design proposal. Up to a 33% deck material saving has been obtained after finishing the optimization process.