What are types of bridges?
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Q:

What are types of bridges?

A:

Quick Answer

There are numerous types of bridges, including arch bridges, beam bridges, truss bridges, cantilever bridges and suspension bridges. There are a few other types of bridges as well, but they typically can be listed under the above categories as they are adaptations of these main types.

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Full Answer

Arch bridges utilize archways or arches as the main structural component. In most cases, the usable part of the bridge -- the part containing the pathway or roadway -- is placed upon a series of arches.

Perhaps the most basic of all bridges, beam bridges are supported by several beams, which can vary in shape and size. Truss bridges are built using diagonal posts. There are two main types of truss bridges, including the king post design and the queen post design.

Although they resemble arch bridges, cantilever bridges are supported by diagonal braces or trusses rather than the vertical braces used in arch bridges. Suspension bridges are suspended using a series of heavy, thick cables which are connected to columns. Cables are attached using a harp design, which resembles the strings of a harp, or a fan design in which all cables connect at one point. A famous example of a fan design is the San Francisco Bridge.

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    How does a beam bridge work?

    A:

    Beam bridges disperse the weight of traffic and the weight of the beam itself by utilizing strong pillars for supports on each end. Adding additional supports along the length of the beam increases the strength of the bridge. The material used for the beam and for the supports can also be modified, with steel-and-concrete-beam bridges able to handle heavier loads than wooden-beam bridges.

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    For medium distances of between 500 and 2,500 feet, cable-stayed bridges have the advantages over suspension bridges of requiring less steel cable and being less expensive and quicker to build. In addition, instead of being limited to two towers as suspension bridges are, cable-stayed bridges can be built with any number of towers.

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