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Types of Bridges

Arch
Arch

An arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by the abutments at either side.

Beam
Beam

Beam bridge. Beam bridges are the simplest structural forms for bridge spans supported by an abutment or pier at each end. No moments are transferred throughout the support, hence their structural type is known as simply supported.

Cable Stayed
Cable Stayed

The cable-stayed bridge is optimal for spans longer than cantilever bridges and shorter than suspension bridges. This is the range where cantilever bridges would rapidly grow heavier if the span were lengthened, while suspension bridge cabling would not be more economical if the span were shortened.

Cantilever
Cantilever

Cantilever bridge is a bridge whose main elements are cantilevers (structures that are anchored at only one end while the other projects horizontally into space). These bridges can use beams for smaller (pedestrian) bridges or trusses made of structural steel, or box girders of prestressed concrete for larger bridges that carry road or rail traffic.

Suspension
Suspension

A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck (the load-bearing portion) is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. The first modern examples of this type of bridge were built in the early 1800s.

Truss
Truss

Bollman truss: an all-metal truss with many independent tension elements which makes for a strong bridge that is easy to assemble. Burr arch truss: a combination of an arch and truss which gives a strong and rigid bridge.