How To Understand Truss Bridge Design

Known to be one of the most original styles in contemporary bridge designs, truss bridges are inexpensive because the way they are constructed allows for maximum use of materials, resulting in zero wastage.  You can learn about the design of not only truss bridges but many other types of bridge and architecture by taking online design courses.

When a truss bridge is built, the principle of proportion is strictly followed. Hence all materials should have appropriate and proportional dimensions and volumes. Its size should also be appropriate to the place where it is erected. The size of the truss bridge determines the number of workers that should do the labor of setting it up. So it follows that the more massive the bridge is, the more workers that are needed to hold and assemble the beams.

Depending on them enormity of the bridge, a truss bridge design may consist of a series of drawings that contain every detail of the structure, even the smallest bolt or nail in its place. Although more modern construction technology is now prevalent, a well-executed construction design is still indispensable when it comes to building a truss bridge, and any kind of bridge for that matter.

The parts of a truss bridge are usually straight and are connected in such a way that the bridge can stand weight and strain coming from the load of vehicles and people that pass over it. The quality and strength of materials should correspond with the expected load of the bridge; therefore, every part of the truss – the verticals, diagonals, chords and bolts – are significant. The manner by which the verticals and diagonals are joined is also important because a slip or imbalance in the joints can affect the strength of the whole bridge.

Originally, wood was mostly used for truss bridges primarily due to the abundance of timber in the 1800s. But as metal started to gain popularity, bridge builders in the U.S. discovered the use of wrought iron. For a while iron was widely used because it did not require much skilled labor. However steel took the place of wrought iron in the 1890s. Nowadays aluminum that is light but sturdy is likewise used for truss bridges in combination with steel material.

The following are some of the popular types of truss bridge designs across the United States:

  1. Baltimore truss bridge has one of the sturdiest designs. Built mainly for train bridges, this truss bridge is braced with an additional truss on the lower part so it will not give in under the weight of a passing train.
  2. Bollman truss bridge that is found in Savage, Maryland, is radically designed and is the only remaining truss bridge of its kind. Known as the first all-metal bridge in 1852, its design has been adopted for years. Bollman truss bridge is also a railroad bridge.
  3. Tied arch bridge can be found in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The arches in both ends of this bridge design hold most of the weight of the bridge.
  4. Roadbed truss bridge is another popular bridge. The most popular example of this type of truss bridge is the I-35 Mississippi River Bridge where the trusses are continuously joined from the top and under the roadbed.

Though modern bridge designs have now emerged, truss bridge designs continue to be erected in some parts of the country.  More information about good bridge design can be learned through online classes in design.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: