Bridges animation link
Click on the screenshot above to view the "Bridges" animation by Laszlo Lipot

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Bridges span gaps and carry loads. Simple bridges made from the logs of fallen trees were probably the earliest form of bridge. A number of logs laid side by side could be used to make a simple bridge that could carry the loads created by people, livestock and vehicles.

Beam bridges made from fallen trees have limitations, e.g. the length of the bridge is limited by the lengths of the logs used, the strength of the bridge is limited by the log's strength and resistance to bending.

When large spans or heavy loads have to be supported, designers consider:

  • the design of the bridge structure
  • the materials used in the structure
  • the shape of structural sections (i.e. the cross section of materials) used within the structure
  • the way that parts of the structure are fixed together
  • the way that the structure is supported at both ends.

The animation above illustrates:

  • a beam bridge
  • continuous span bridge
  • simple span bridge
  • cantilever span bridge
  • cantilever with suspended span bridge
  • deck truss bridge
  • Warren truss bridge
  • Pratt truss bridge
  • Howe truss bridge
  • lattice truss bridge
  • plate girder bridge
  • deck beam bridge
  • steel structural sections
  • orthotropic beam bridge
  • rigid frame bridge with inclined legs
  • rigid framed bridge with V-legs
  • stone arch bridge
  • open spandrel deck arch bridge
  • spandrel braced arch bridge
  • cantilever through truss bridge
  • trussed deck arch bridge
  • trussed through arch bridge
  • ribbed arch bridge
  • suspension bridge
  • cable stayed bridge.
Copyright Laszlo Lipot.