The Engineering technology that goes behind the construction of bridges is not restricted to the actual construction of the bridges. It begins right from the conceptual stage and continues with the architecture and design work related to bridge construction
Important Bridge Design Factors to consider in Building Bridges
While designing a bridge, Engineers often look at the following important factors before deciding on the actual type of design to be incorporated.
1. The nature of the soil over which the bridge would be constructed
2. The length of Bridge span
3. Wind Force in the region
4. Geological conditions of the region in terms of exposure to natural disasters such as Earth Quakes
5. The expected traffic volume on the bridge
6. Availability of the right type of construction materials in the region and its proximity to the bridge site
7. Allocated budget for bridge completion
8. Availability of the relevant and experienced man power for doing bridge construction
Though the bridge building activity has been there for thousands of years, there are only three basic type of bridge structures to start with. This includes the suspension, beam and arch bridges. Within the suspension bridge family, cable stayed bridges have become extremely popular. Architects and Engineers do modification to these standard structural types by adding the features available in one design with features available in the other type and come with modern bridge structures.
Important Bridge Engineering Advancements in Building Bridges the last fifty years
One of the major discovery or Engineering advancement in the last fifety years is the availability of vertical or slanted steel cables. With such slanted cables, the stability of the bridge can be maintained even when the bridges are constructed over a wider span. Another important engineering development is the introduction of threading process to create threads in the steel cables. A specially made wheel was used to create the thread from one end of the steel bridge to the other end. During this period, the usage of diagonal cables to support the load of the bridge become more popular. Due to this advancement, the length of bridge span also got increased dramatically.
Even Today, Engineers are doing research on the possibility of coming out with a remote sensing fiber optic equipment, which can be used to identify even minor structural problems in the bridge. Engineers are also investigating the usage of composites as a building material for bridges