2 Important WordsSpan: the distance between two bridge supports (column, tower, canyon walls…)Abutment: a. The part of a structure that bears the weight or pressure of an arch. b. A structure that supports the end of a bridge. c. A structure that anchors the cables of a suspension bridge.Girder: a beam, made of steel, wood, or reinforced concrete, used as a main horizontal support in a building or bridge – can be a box girder or truss girder
3 More Important WordsCompression: a force that acts to compress or shorten the thing it is acting on.Tension: a force that acts to expand or lengthen the thing it is acting on.
4 Beam BridgeA rigid horizontal structure that is resting on two piers, one on each side.LoadCompressionTensionReaction Force
5 Beam Bridge Typical Span Lengths: 10m - 200m World's Longest: Ponte Costa e Silva, BrazilTotal Length: 700mCenter Span: 300m
6 Truss BridgeSupporting lattice work added to many types of bridges. Trusses are skeletal structures made up of many small beams (normally in the shape of triangles). As the size of a beam bridge increases, so must the size of the truss
7 Cantilever BridgeCantilever bridges are a modified form of beam bridge, with the support being placed not at the end, but somewhere in the middle of the span. A cantilever is a structure or beam that is unsupported at one end but supported at the other, like diving boards.
9 Truss Bridge Typical Span Lengths: 40m - 500m World's Longest: Pont de QuebecTotal Length: 863mCenter Span: 549m
10 Arch BridgeAn arch bridge is a semicircular structure with abutments on each end. The arch naturally brings the weight (a force) of the load from the roadway to the abutments. Used by the ancient Romans. Can be made out of brick or stone.LoadCompressionReaction Force
11 Arch Bridge Typical Span Lengths: 40m - 150m World's Longest: New River Gorge Bridge, U.S.A.Total Length: 924mCenter Span: 518m
12 Suspension BridgeThe deck of the bridge is held up by cables that are strung across the water or canyon. In modern suspension bridges, there are two towers over which the main cables are strung. Numerous vertical or hanging cables (rods) support the road and are attached to the main cables. Thus, the towers are supporting the majority of the road deck’s weight. The main cables must be anchored on either end of the bridge.LoadTensionCompressionReaction Force
14 Cable Stayed BridgeA continuous beam with one or more towers built above piers. From these towers, cables stretch down diagonally (usually to both sides) and attach to the girder to support the bridge deck. The cables can all attach at the top of the tower (fan) or at various points along the tower (harp).TensionLoadCompressionReaction Force