Mini Brief: Research on Bridges

Starting this mini project I wanted to look at what the different types of bridges are and how they are classified as that type.

Arch Bridge

The first type of bridge is an arch bridge. This is probably the most traditional type of bridge and is usually used on a smaller scale, for example just as a river crossing. The reason this is called an arch bridge is because the underside of the bridge which gives it support is in a curved shape adding strength at either end. These bridges are not only used across rivers as they are also used to cross chasms or gaps between mountains, especially with for the use of trains.

Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge is probably the first image that comes into anyone’s head when they hear the word bridge. A suspension bridge is where the main platform of transportation is held by cables that connect to pillars in the ground, hence the name suspension bridge. The most iconic suspension bridge would be The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, however, there is also the Humber Bridge, here in Hull. Looking at both of these bridges it is easy to see the similarities in the way that they are designed. The cables that hold the bridge balanced appear as if they aren’t actually doing anything as it looks like they are loose as they curve down rather than tightly held in place. Some of the first ever suspension bridges ever made were not steel but in fact made from twisted grass. Just visualising this seems a cool concept that could be used in all different types of environments.

Beam Bridge

The beam bridge is the simplest of all the types of bridges and is also known as a ‘girder’ bridge. This bridge has a box-like shape usually with large diagonals railings on either side. These bridges are usually to cross large rivers and have been designed so that they can raise to let boats pass by. As well as this the main reason these bridges exist is because the box like shape allows them to support extremely heavy weights as the middle is designed to dip inwards to compensate for this. This gives me an idea of what this type of bridge would look like if were destroyed or untamed, dipping in the middle and possibly bending out of shape.

Truss Bridge

A Truss bridge is a type of bridge which that has a ‘wavy’ like the pattern and has a very rigid structure. It has been designed like this so that the weight load of what it is carrying is spread out to te entire bridge so that it con contain an extremely high amount of weight. These used to be very commonly used bridges before the industrial revolution and were mainly made out of food. These are extremely cool looking bridges and in my opinion look extremely modern. I feel like they would look good in a fantasy style of game.

Cantilever Bridge

This type of bridge is basically multiple truss bridges that are connected in the middle with something called a ‘cantilever’ These are often the largest of the types of bridges as its width span can be over 1500 feet. As well as this is it obviously extremely strong since it is designed using the truss bridge. Since it usually has a high span you would presume that it doesn’t have a high weight. The design of this bridge is simple to that of the Truss Bridge if not a combination of that and the Suspension bridge, however, I feel like It doesn’t look as unique and interesting as the other types.

Cable-Stayed Bridge

The cable-stayed bridge has a very simple design to the suspension bridge and even a very similar appearance, however, there are differences between the two. This bridge has one pillar anchored into the ground which is usually centred. IT then has multiple cables spanning to either side of the bridge. These cables are not slack like the suspension bridges but are extremely tight. Looking at some of the existing bridges of this type they appear to be extremely modern and look the most unique of all the types. One bridge which I found appeared to a curved pillar at one side with the cables then stretched to the opposite side. This is a very sci-fi looking design which gives me lots of inspiration for my bridge.





Truss Bridge




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