It may sound like an odd topic to be discussing, but we frequently travel over (or under) bridges to get to a destination. Whether it’s on the way to work, in a little village, or you’re carrying a load over a river, bridges are a fundamental part of our routes. And they’re clever too. Each bridge has a purpose to how and why it was built, depending on the surroundings and accessibility for vehicles (and even vessels).
An arch bridge is one of the most popular bridges for transportation, and is one of the simplest designs of all bridges to exist. Often made out of stone, steel and iron, these heavy-duty bridges are best known for their strength and construction over rivers.
A beam bridge is the simplest form of a bridge – one or more horizontal beams that can relieve pressure on structural piers. Beam bridges are one of the oldest types of bridges, and are usually constructed out of metal.
Cable-stayed bridges have cables tat are directly connected to one or several verticle columns, which can be connected in either a harp design, or a fan design. Each design functions for different suspension from the cables, depending on the bridge’s use and purpose. This type of bridge is very popular – take Brooklyn Bridge for example.
A suspension bridge is pretty self explanatory. Ropes or cables that are spread across verticle suspenders, which holds the weight of the deck and the traffic. These bridges are often used when a constant (and busy) traffic flow is expected. These bridges are prone to responding to powerful winds and even pedestrians and vehicles, which is why these types of bridges may close due to bad weather.
Bristol Suspension Bridge is a very popular example of a suspension bridge.
Truss bridges are also very popular as they can hold much stronger forces and heavier weight than other types of bridges available. The design of a truss bridge is a design of diagonal structures or mesh across the majority of the bridge. This type of bridge is designed in areas that require a lot of force and tension, such as heavy transportation and exposed areas (as opposed to sheltered) where winds are strong.
Rachel Jefferies, Editor, Freight Media