How to Build a Bridge

Building a bridge is in no way a DIY project. Architects, civil engineers and labourers are all part of the very intensive labour and time-consuming process of building bridge structures. This guide will simply highlight the steps the professionals must take when building a bridge.


  • Aluminium
  • Compound steel
  • Concrete mortar
  • Supports


  • Very heavy machinery
  • Professional constructing tools


  1. Decide on the type of bridge that is suitable for the circumstance. Common types of bridges include arch, suspension, cable-stayed, truss and beam types. To cross a short distance, a beam or small truss bridge is ideal. For longer distances, like large rivers, a very expensive suspension bridge is required. An arch bridge on the other hand is perfectly suited for crossing a deep ravine.
  2. Identify where the bridge will go; choose the ideal site. Engineering teams usually put much effort into this portion of the project, sending out surveyors to make a map of the general area. The map will make calculations and determine the length and ideal placement of the bridge before engineers make a conclusive decision about the bridge’s placement.
  3. After an account of the potential traffic load the bridge will experience is taken into account, engineers use ASTM steel design manuals, computer software and drafters to assist in the bridge designing process. Materials chosen will consider the inspection and upkeep of coasts after the bridge is built.
  4. To construct the physical structure of the bridge, first ensure the design has been stamped with approval by your local authorities, and all the paperwork has been dealt with.
  5. Excavate and fill banks on either side; stabilise the ground where the supports will be placed. Depending on what type of bridge is going to be built, concrete may need to be poured.
  6. Assemble the steel either on site, or put them together in small enough pieces to be shipped to the site later, and then assembled to make the whole. The steel is put together using nuts and bolts, with anchors placed in the concrete.
  7. Build a concrete decking for the bridge; alternatively, the decking can be made out of aluminium and newly engineered composite materials that resist corrosion, thus decreasing bridge replacement costs.
  8. Use commercial paving machines to pave the new bridge. Once the building of the bridge is accomplished, after months or possibly years, the dust can settle and it can be opened to public use.
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