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Hermino Mendez
Mr. Gonzalez
Design Y2
February 4 2015

Bridge Structure

Bridges are an important feature of our life; they help us cross over bodies of water,
ravines and other objects in the way of us. However we didn’t always help bridges,
back in the beginning day’s people didn’t use “bridges” but they just used simple
objects around them to replace the needs of bridges. Just a simple log or a few
stones could be placed across a ravine and be used to cross over. Over time these
“bridges” needed upgrading. That’s when bridges became “invented” officially, no
one really knows that exact date of the bridge invented but it was a long time ago.
The first types of bridges were also made of natural’s materials like wood, stone and
cement. They were better than the simple logs being crossed over. Over time
“types” of bridges were invented. However each had their own advantages and
disadvantages. The beam bridge is one that is easier to create then others for short
distances and needs to be supported more for longer distances. However the steel
is expensive and tends to loop on the bridge after a long while. Another type is the
suspension bridge, like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. An advantage is it
can build very high and it carries a lot more then it’s actual weight, it’s
disadvantages is when building one, it is a bad choice to build on soft ground, these
bridges require tough ground. If they are built on soft ground the bridge won’t be
able to carry its maximum weight requirement. Arch bridges is another type too,
these bridges can look very nice if build correctly however these bridges require a

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lot of materials to be built with even for a short distance. Another type of bridge is
the Truss bridge; this bridge can look great if with its triangle shapes which also
cause the bridge to be stronger. A disadvantage to this is the bridge’s materials are
heavy and cost a lot to be bought. All over the world you will see these different
types of bridges such as the Shayingou Bridge located in China’s Western Province
Guizhou which is a soaring 328 feet up in the air and has a span of 394 feet, it’s one
of the highest beam bridges in the world as well. Then there’s the Golden Gate
Bridge in San Francisco with being 746 feet high, its width is 90 feet. The Golden
Gate was started being built on January 5 1993 and was finished on April 19 1937,
during the construction of the bridge 11 people died falling off. One type of an Arch
Bridge is the Stone Arch Bridge located in Minneapolis which has a width of 28 feet
and is 2,100 feet up high which used to be an old railroad bridge but was changed
later on; it went under renovation after a flooding in 1965. There is also a Truss
bridge located in Savage, Maryland which is called the Bollman Truss Railroad
Bridge. It is 160 feet up in the air and was currently restored in 1996. It’s one of the
few remaining distinctive iron truss system types of bridges. Just like how all
bridges have disadvantages some have led to the destruction of the bridge and with
many deaths. Take for example the Scott City Roadway Bridge, two trains crashed
into each other and got derailed causing the highway overpass to collapse which
caused some cars to crush into a support pillar causing even more damage. It
wasn’t really the bridge’s design but more of a human caused disaster. The Tacoma
Narrows Bridge was another bridge which led to a disaster on the morning of
November 7 1940, the wind was really strong that morning blowing against the
bridge and it started to “twist”, it couldn’t take anymore and collapsed leading to
the death of only a dog who refused to get off. The bridge was a few one of its few

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kinds which made the wind go over the bridge but it turned out it didn’t work. The
I-35W Mississippi River Bridge was given a design flaw by the city warning about the
structure, and then on August 1 2007 the central of the bridge collapsed leading to
the other sides collapsing too. The builders should taken care of the notice but they
didn’t which lead to the collapsing of the bridge.
After seeing each bridge type I have decided to choose to build a Truss Bridge
design for our upcoming project. I liked the look of the bridge and the triangles in
the design will help it stay connected.

Links

http://www.historyofbridges.com/
http://newstimes.augusta.com/news/2013-04-10/before-the-bridge-travelers-usedfurys-ferry
http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/bridge-structure-early-bridges.html
http://www.ask.com/art-literature/advantages-disadvantages-using-arch-bridgesb9cd3e0758f8c5c0
http://www.brighthubengineering.com/structural-engineering/65074-characteristicsof-beam-bridges/
http://www.ehow.com/info_8554425_advantages-disadvantages-types-bridges.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollman_Truss_Railroad_Bridge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge
http://ww http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php
w.highestbridges.com/wiki/index.php?title=Shayingou_Bridge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Arch_Bridge_(Minneapolis)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Mississippi_River_bridge#Collapse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridge_failures

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge_(1940)
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/25/18490608-seven-injured-in-missourias-trains-collide-trigger-highway-bridge-collapse?lite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge_(1940)#Cause_of_the_collapse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Mississippi_River_bridge