Bridge Research Paper

History of Bridges
All throughout history, bridges have been around. Either as logs
fallen over creeks or stones across a lake. Yet as humans
developed, so did their curiosity. Our need to get across bodies of
water to explore led to us making boats. Either way this process
took an excessive amount of effort. Thus we found a way to make
bridges to cross way faster. They can either be made out of
standard wood or reinforced metal, short or extended.
Bridges were mainly created to cross over big bodies of water.
There were other ways to cross, but most of them took long periods
of time or too much energy. This led to the creation of bridges which
took less time.
Before bridges, people mainly used boats and canoes to cross over.
Others walked along the river or creek until they saw a connection
to cross. Some would just swim over ignoring all danger.
The earliest types of bridges were known to be simple logs or rocks
going across. These were usually made naturally. The first type of
bridges that human kind started building were be either made out
of rock or wood. They were short and didn’t reach over long
distances due to the fact we had almost no experience in building.
Some of the engineers that caused great evolution in the building of
bridges would be Satoshi Kashima, engineer of the world’s longest
extension bridge, Norman Foster and Michel Virlogeux, engineers of
a bridge sustained by wire, and Joseph Strauss, Charles Alton Ellis,
Irving Morrow making a mile wide, three-mile long bridge.
These engineers all caused a great impact on the way we build
bridges today. We view their structures and place those designs on
other bridges. Thus with time we will be able to create bridges that
will be known for years and years to come. Not only that but we will
also be able to get over long distances and get even higher in the
air than we already have.

Bridge Designs
Some of the most famous bridges are located all over the world.
The top four are known as Millau Viaduct, Golden Gate Bridge,
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kintai Bridge, and San Francisco–Oakland Bay
Bridge. Each of these have different designs from the rest.
Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridged. It is 343.0 meters high at
one mast, making it the tallest bridge. An advantage of a design
like this would be that metal works well under tension. In cased of
an earthquake or major natural disaster, the bridge would have a
great chance of holding up.
Some disadvantages are that these bridges have a risk of falling
during high speed wind days. Another disadvantage is that the
wires need special treatment in order to avoid corroding and
The Golden Gate Bridge and Akashi Kaikyo Bridge are both
suspension bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge had an amazing safety
record. One advantage of this design is that it can reach over long
distances. They can also be placed at a high level to allow tall
vehicles to pass under.
A disadvantage that takes place mostly is that a strong base or
foundation must be built in order for the rest to be in place. This
proves to be a challenge to some engineers. Another problem
would be that these bridges are expensive and require a long time
to be finished.
San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge is a mix of different designs, but
the main one is truss bridge. Truss bridges have an advantage that
they can be placed over long distances and that they require less
An obvious disadvantage is that the bridge design isn’t always

The Kintai Bridge is an arch bridge. An advantage of this design
would be that it can easy be made out of natural resources such as
wood. These are usually the oldest bridges found due to its
These bridges take long amounts of time finish, therefore creating
a disadvantage.

Bridge Collapse
July 17, 1981 a bridge in Kansas City, Missouri, collapsed. Hyatt
Regency Hotel was having a Tea Dance. The two walkways were
filled and crowded, thus making way to collapse. It is estimated
that 1,600 people attended. There was a fault in the structure,
doubling the load between all walkways. This dead weight added up
to the estimated 40 spectators on them. The fourth-floor walkway
collapsed first, bringing down the second-floor walkway with it.
These crashed into the lobby, killing 111 victims. Approximately
219 people came out with injuries, and 3 that were transported to
the nearest hospital died later on due to major injuries. The total
number of fatalities were 114.

My Design
I am planning on making a mix of different designs to limit the
chance of collapse. One design I am interested in would be truss. I
will mix Truss with suspension and add a bit of cable-stayed. It will
reach a long distance, and I will connect it to two towers on each
side. It will be sustained by a series of toothpick “rope” and the
towers will hold the bridge a certain number of inches in the air.
The truss design will also serve as a support line from above. I have
connected all the information I’ve gained to make this design in my
head, which I will transfer on to paper.

We weren’t able to finish, so not much was done.