Most fundamental concepts in bridge design and engineering

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What is a bridge?

A bridge is a structure built to cover a gap or cross a body of water or low land. The earliest known bridges were probably simple footbridges that were first constructed as early as 3000 BCE. The oldest surviving bridge in the world, the Puente Romano, dates from around 100 CE. The earliest known pontoon bridges were only until the early 13th century. They were used for military purposes and to move armies into position before building a bridge or causeway. With such a rich history, bridge constructions are popular even today. In fact, bridge constructions offer the biggest career opportunities for students. This is why students in large numbers enrol in bridge design courses in Hyderabad or Chennai, or wherever they may live in order to get a job in this sector. Visit this page for more info.

A bridge may be designed for pedestrian, vehicle, or rail traffic. A truss bridge is designed by setting out its geometry in a drawing called an “ideal” or “prismatic” truss, which is a cross-section through one of the diagonals of the prismatic truss in a way that every member has zero net force on it (but not necessarily zero deflection). Bridges are large structures that carry heavy traffic loads and long spans; therefore, they sometimes need to be reinforced to meet special standards set forth by codes and regulations.

The construction of bridges requires many materials and can span long distances with great spans, but this also makes them vulnerable to damage from storms or earthquakes, which can endanger people living nearby.

Components of Bridge:

  1. Sub Structure

The sub-structure of a bridge is the foundation and superstructure of the bridge. It consists of the abutments, piers, footings and their foundations. The sub-structure is designed to support the superstructure of the bridge.

  1. Super Structure

The superstructure of a bridge is what we see when we look at it from far away or close up. It consists of trusses, girders and other members used to construct this part of the bridge. The superstructure also provides the necessary support for heavy loads that may be placed on it in case of an earthquake or other natural calamity; if you go to learn bridge engineering courses In Delhi or anywhere, often explain in detail about the superstructure. 

  1. Piers and abutments

These are two large masses that support the superstructure and are usually made of concrete or steel. The pier will be located at the water’s edge, while the abutment will be located inside the channel. Abutments are concrete structures placed on top of piers to hold up the deck of a bridge. In addition to supporting the weight of concrete roadway, abutments help control expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes in weather conditions.

  1. Approaches

These structures are smaller than piers and abutments; they are designed to carry traffic from one side of the river to another. Usually, approaches have a height of about six feet above mean high water, although some can reach up to 10 feet above mean high water.

Deck: this is the main structure that carries vehicles across the river; it must be able to withstand wind loadings of up to 200 pounds per square foot without failure.


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