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.Know More
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.Learn More
An interesting fact about beam bridges is that the world's longest bridge is a beam bridge called the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway; it is nearly 24 miles in length. Beam bridges are not normally used for long distances because they weaken when the supports are far apart. A long stretch is actually composed of multiple beam bridges that have been put together using a process known as daisy chaining.Full Answer >
One of the most famous beam bridges in the United States is the Manchac Swamp Bridge in Louisiana. It cost approximately $7 million to complete each mile of the bridge, according to USA Today.Full Answer >
The problem with iron bridges was that the material was not as reliable as carbon steel, so it was replaced starting in the late 1800s and was completely unavailable for bridge building by the early 1900s. Bridges in the late 1700s were made of cast iron, but, by the early 1800s, cast iron gave way to wrought iron.Full Answer >
The pros of arch bridges include their strength and flexibility, while the cons of such bridges include their short length. Arch bridges may be built from natural or manmade materials.Full Answer >