Spotting Bridges - A Basic Guide To Bridge Design – gCaptain Spotting Bridges - A Basic Guide To Bridge Design – gCaptain

Bridge truss types a guide to dating and identifying old, general information

Truss bridge | Wiki | Everipedia

Partridge received a patent for his truss design which is appears to be a modification of the Smith truss. Most have two towers on either end of the span, with counterweights contained within. Suspension bridges can be used to span the longest distance of any bridge type, as most of the weight is carried by the cables.

Some of the counter bracing inside the panels has been omitted from the drawing for clarity.

The center section commonly has crossing diagonal members. The placement of the deck in relation to the superstructure provides the descriptive terms used in all bridges: Truss - other types The other truss types shown are less common on modern bridges.

Additional counter braces may be used and can make identification more difficult, however the Pratt and its variations are the most common type of all trusses. Spaghetti is brittle and although it can carry a modest tension force, it breaks easily if bent. Materials for the other parts also vary: Many modern bridges use new designs developed using computer stress analysis.

Truss bridge

These may be identified by the diagonal braces which are used in the open spandrel. In a Deck configuration, bakery courses in bangalore dating travels on top of the main structure; in a Pony configuration, traffic travels between parallel superstructures which are not cross-braced at the top; in a Through configuration, traffic travels through the superstructure usually a truss which is cross-braced above and below the traffic.

The swing portion is a cantilever that needs to be strong enough to support itself on the pivot when the bridge is in the open position.

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The classic cantilever design is the through truss which extends above the deck. Bridges with the roadbed at the top or the bottom are the most common as this allows both the top and bottom to be stiffened, forming a box truss.

Bridge Basics - A Spotter's Guide to Bridge Design

The deck is hung from suspenders of wire rope, eyebars or other materials. The four main factors are used in describing a bridge. The central vertical member stabilizes the upper compression member, preventing it from buckling. These may be identified by the diagonal braces which are used in the open spandrel.

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The lattice is constructed of planks rather than the heavy timbers required in kingpost and queenpost designs. The truss configuration will vary.


He was in engineering management for several railroads including the Pennsylvania Railroad and drafted as superintendent of military railroads for the Union Army during the Civil War. While a typical arch bridge passes its load to bearings at its abutment; a tied arch resists spreading drift at its bearings by using the deck as a tie piece.

The drawings are not to scale. They were usually built where the span required was longer than was practical with a Pratt truss. The tied arch bowstring type is commonly used for suspension bridges; the arch may be trussed or solid.

Truss bridge

Warren truss may also be found in covered bridge designs. There were many of this type in the Pittsburgh area and they continue to be one of the most common type of covered bridges.

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They are used in situations long enough that a cantilever would be very costly to construct, but not so long as to require a suspension span. Smith of Tipp City, OH, received patents in and for his designs. A spandrel-braced arch or open spandrel deck arch carries the deck on top of the arch.

An OhioDOT web page cites examples of designs used for some covered bridges in that state.


Orthotropic beams are modular shapes which resist stress in multiple directions at once. Probably the most famous Pauli truss, better known as the lenticular truss -- named because of the lens shape, is Pittsburgh's Smithfield Street Bridge.

On suspended deck arch bridges, the deck hangs from the arch by cables or ties. Modern materials such as prestressed concrete and fabrication methods, such as automated weldingand the changing price of steel relative to that of labor have significantly influenced the design of modern bridges.

A cantilever bridge may also include a suspended span. Before the use of computers, the interaction of forces on spans which crossed multiple supports was difficult to calculate.

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A true arch bridge relies on vertical members to transfer the load to the arch. Supported deck arch bridges are designed with the deck on top, the weight supported by columns rising from the arch below.