Truss bridges are bridges that were built from simple skeletal structure beams called trusses. Their unique engineering designs are mostly influenced by the 19th and the 20th century engineers, making them the oldest type of all modern bridges. Truss bridges became famous due to their combination of economic design, modern approach and classic engineering. Many truss bridges are famous because of their rich history, outstanding records and romantic locations. Here are some famous truss bridges found all over the globe.
- The Bridge over the River Kwai. Popularized in the 1950s because of the novel and the film that was named after it, the “The Bridge Over the River Kwai” is definitely the most popular truss bridge in the world. It is famous not only because of its unique name, but because the bridge is also historical. The novel and the film adaptation may be fictional, but what made it historically significant to the Americans and the South East Asians is that it was built by World War II prisoners of war. The novel and the film are very instrumental to show the history of the making of this railroad bridge, but the author actually made a very big mistake – the bridge is not really over the Kwai River but the Mae Khlung. However, to keep tourists from confusion, the Thais renamed the river Kwae Yai.
- The Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge. Located in Savage, Maryland, the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge is a historical tour de force of 19th century construction by American engineers. It is the first successful railroad steel bridge in the U.S. and also one of the oldest. Built in 1852, the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge has a height of 160 feet.
- The Quebec Bridge. The world’s longest cantilever truss bridge is Canada’s pride, the Quebec Bridge. Also known in French (a major language in Canada) as Pont de Quebec, the bridge is the longest in the world at 987 meters (3,239 feet in metric measurement). The bridge shows the ingenuity of Canadian engineers as it crosses the Saint Lawrence River to connect the cities of Quebec and Levis.
- The Ashtabula Bridge. The Ashtabula Bridge is home to the worst rail accident in the history of the United States. The disaster is known as the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster and was caused by a bridge failure and an engineering oversight. The disaster happened on December of 1876, a snowy night worsening the tragedy. One of its engineers committed suicide because of guilt and to avoid conviction. However, one of the good fruits of this horror is that the disaster brought standards for all bridges that include testing, inspection and maintenance. The Ashtabula Bridge was also the first wrought iron bridge of the Howe-type.
- The Sky Gate Bridge R. The Sky Gate Bridge R is currently the longest truss bridge in the world, after it outdid the Quebec pride in 1994. To be more specific, this Osaka bridge is the world’s longest double-decked truss bridge – carrying 3 lanes for automobiles on top and 2 lanes for rail below over the trusses. The Sky Gate Bridge R is an access bridge to Kansai International Airport in Japan.