Tag Archive for: bridge superstructure construction

Nowadays, bridges have become commonplace in our modern society. They offer great solutions to problems such as carrying heavy loads across long distances or providing a safe route for pedestrians and vehicles. But have you ever wondered how bridges are built? Here’s a quick breakthrough of the main components of a bridge and how they function.

The Main Components

The Type of Superstructure

The main part of a bridge is its superstructure. The superstructure bears the weight of the load as it passes through the bridge. It comprises the deck slab, girders, truss, etc. The specific components vary based on the type of bridge and its materials such as concrete or steel.

Not only does the decking hold the load weight, but it also helps transmit the weight and pressure to the below substructures of the bridge.

The Type of Substructure

The substructure of a bridge is the component that supports the superstructure and distributes the load to the bridge footings and foundation. They consist of piers, abutments, wing walls all of which facilitate the process of transmitting the weight of the load to the earth.

Different Types of Bridges

Although there are various designs of a bridge the main components will always stay the same. The only difference is the pattern or direction in which the pressure is distributed. For example, here’s the difference between the beam and truss bridge.

Beam Bridge

A Beam bridge, sometimes called a stringer or girder bridge, is one of the most basic types of bridge. Its design consists of horizontal beams and vertical piers that typically include two or more spans with an abutment or pier at each end. Beam bridges can be constructed using wood, steel, or concrete and are built for short distances as their only support is from piers.

In this design, the load is compressed on the top of the bridge and then applied down the piers to the earth.

Truss Bridge

A truss bridge design involves interconnected triangles that distribute the weight over a wide space. This unique design allows the truss bridge to carry a heavier weight capacity with fewer materials. These lightweight and durable bridges can be utilized for both short and long distances.

Truss bridges function by transferring the weight of the load from a single point to a wider area. When the load is applied to the truss bridge the pressure is shared among the triangular designs for additional support and then redirected to the earth through the bridge’s substructure. 

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we work with the highest quality materials and engineers when designing and building bridges. Not to mention, our bridges are well-made, easy to maintain, and available in a variety of design and support types.

With decades of experience and our team of dedicated experts, you can feel confident in trusting an industry leader to build your bridge. Contact us today for a free quote or use our exclusive Bridgescope tool!

Scaling Down Steel Bridge Construction Time

Efficient steel bridge construction includes high quality engineering and manufacturing of the structure. This is especially true for replacing aging and deteriorating infrastructure. So, an important component that sets bridge companies apart is the bridge design that should allow for smooth assembly. At U.S. Bridge we pride ourselves on providing unparalleled services to communities in the United States as well as globally. And we do this by implementing an engineering and manufacturing process that leads to quicker steel bridge construction.

Replacing Infrastructure

When it comes to replacing decaying infrastructure, there are a lot of factors that companies consider. However, one of the main components that plays an important role is the time for construction. So, in order to accomplish that, companies follow techniques that accelerate the bridge or infrastructure construction to minimize traffic disruptions. These techniques have great value, as they benefit the project completion.

Design / Build

The first technique that contributes to scaling down steel bridge construction is the design and build of the structure. Normally, the bridge design and construction occur in two separate phases and are the responsibility of two different entities. However, design/build takes care of both simultaneously and is done by one entity.

Since design and construction somewhat overlap, the project completion time decreases. The design and construction personnel can work together and effectively apply engineering, constructibility, and fast construction techniques to the project. Also, the resulting time savings result in lower overall costs.

Bridge Prefabrication

There are many advantages to bridge prefabrication. This step offers opportunities for bridge designers to scale down the steel bridge construction time significantly. Moreover, it improves the safety of workers, reduces environmental impact, and cuts costs. Prefabricated bridges are convenient and have become a preference in infrastructure. They offer:

  • Easy upkeep
  • Better and quicker assembly
  • Smooth disassembly

At U.S. Bridge, we have been using prefabricated bridges since 1936. Incorporating steel bridge prefabrication has enabled our company to expand and complete projects more efficiently.

Incremental Launching

As the name suggests it, this technique allows construction to be done in parts. Also, this is especially useful when traffic, environmental or site conditions restrict the size and amount of construction equipment permitted.

The U.S. Bridge Way

At U.S. Bridge we use the best techniques to expedite steel bridge construction and still deliver high-quality structures that will be long-lasting. A bridge company that is family-owned, we design and build bridges that can handle vehicle loads of up to 90,000 lbs. or additional weight as necessary. Moreover, our engineers are able to meet the different safety and design requirements of various regulatory entities, like departments of transportation. So, get a quote online today and get your bridge project started with us and experience the U.S. Bridge way.