What are the different types of bridges? Bridges are structures that are built to allow us to cross bodies of water. There are many different types of bridges, basing on their shape, make and design. We, humans, got the idea of making bridges from nature itself. If you would notice, logs that fall across streams as well as stones that allow you to cross rivers are nature’s way of creating bridges.
The first types of bridges are beam bridges. These are bridges that are composed of horizontal beams. These beams are usually made out of heavy materials such as metal and huge chunks of wood. The main weakness of beam bridges is that when the beams are positioned apart, the bridges can be weak. Therefore, beam bridges are made for short distances only.
Truss types of bridges are bridges that are consisted of triangular steel or metal. These bridges are made from straight bars that are lined together and then connected by more steel or metal, forming triangles. The main advantage of the truss types of bridges is that they can support heavy loads because of the engineering of their design. They are known to have great ratio of strength to weight because of the triangular shape. Therefore, these bridges are often used by trains (in railroads) and military tanks.
Arch bridges, as the name implies, are types of bridges that are shaped like an arch. This arch is what supports the load of whatever will be crossing it. The arch of the arch bridges rest on the edge of the bridge, along the land part. This is done so that it can support the weight of the middle part of the bridge itself. If you would notice, these types of bridges have vertical supports. These are known as spandrels. These are what connect the arch of the bridge to the deck, ensuring the efficiency. Spandrels can be open or closed, and are commonly covered with heavy materials such as steel or concrete.
Fourth, we have the suspension bridges. These are the types of bridges that are the most complex. These are also the bridges that are most expensive and costly to build. These types of bridges are also called cable stay bridges as they are supported by metal cables. The metal cables are then hung from the tall parts of the bridge and are secured to the end of both sides of the bridge. When the distances of the bridge are huge, these are the types of bridges that are mostly recommended.
Lastly, we have the cantilever bridges. These are the types of bridges that are comprised of a series of girders and beams that are balanced so they can be allowed to span even in long distances. The sections of these bridges are balanced on a vertical plane. They resemble perfect see saws, as the center or middle part are supported by metal pier. Much like all other bridges, the ends of the cantilever bridges are rested on land. If the cantilever bridges are of long distances, the piers are not attached so that balance is ensured.