40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World14 min read

What Are Bridges?

The bridge is a rigid structure that allows the movement of vehicles and people to cross an obstacle like a stream, river, canal, valley, heavy traffic road, etc.

its main purpose is to shorting the distance between places and increase connectivity. Also, the bridge is having sufficient strength to carry selfweight as well as the weight of vehicles or anything that is passing over it.

There are different types of bridges constructed in the world according to work importance and site conditions. The bridge type selected affects the design, working, material required, and overall cost of the project.


Components of Bridges

Most of the types of bridges are divided into three basic components

  • Sub Structure Foundation, Piers, and Abutments
  • Bearing
  • Super Structure – Any structure above the bearing and wearing surface of the bridge.

Read More: Components of Bridge | Parts of a Bridge | Bridge Elements


Classification of Bridges

The following are types of bridges based on various parameters,

1. Based on Material

  • Timber Bridge
  • Stone Masonry Bridge
  • RCC Bridge
  • Steel Bridge
  • Prestress Bridge
  • Composite Bridge

2. As per alignment      

  • Straight Alignment
  • Skew Bridge

3. As per location of bridges

  • Deck Bridge
  • Through Bridge
  • SemiThrough Bridge

4. Based on Purpose

  • Aqueduct
  • Vi aqueduct
  • Highway Bridge
  • Railway Bridge
  • Foot Bridge
  • Pipe Bridge

5. According to a type of superstructure

  • Suspension Bridge Slab Bridge
  • Cablestayed bridge

6. According to High Flood Level

  • Submersible Bridge or Causeway
  • Non Submersible Bridge

7. According to a type of span

  • Simply Supported Bridge
  • Continuous Bridge
  • Cantilever Bridge
  • Balanced Cantilever Bridge

8. According to span length

  •  Culvert       
  • Minor bridge
  • Major bridge
  • Longspan bridge

9. According to navigation facilities

  • Swing Bridge
  • Bascule Bridge
  • Transverse Bridge
  • Lift Bridge

10. According to the loading

 1. Temporary bridge

  • a. pontoon bridge- KUMBH MELA
  • b. boat bridge: Kolkata-RABINDRANATH SETU
  • c. flying bridge– West India Quay London, UK

2. Permanent bridge

  • RCC bridge
  • masonry bridges –Rajasthan
  • steel bridges: Surat Tapti river

11. According to Life of bridges

  • Class AA bridge – Narmada Cable Bridge
  • Class A bridge
  • Class B Bridge

12. Method of connections.

  • Pin joint connection Type Bridge
  •  Riveted joint type bridge
  •  Welded type bridge

13. According to a degree of redundancy

  •  Determinate type
  •  Indeterminate type

Read More: Bridge Abutment | 10 Types of Abutments | 10 Bridge Abutment Types


1. Classification of the Bridge According to Material

Timber Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Timber Bridge

Bridges are constructed using timber materials are called timber bridges. These types of bridges are constructed for short spans.

Also for a temporary purposeTimber bridges are not sufficient for heavy loading. It is designed for pedestrians, low weight transport.

These types of the bridge are constructed where timber is easily available. Nowadays not used Timber Bridge.

Masonry Bridge

In the Masonry Bridge stones and bricks are used as construction materials.

Masonry bridges are durable as compare to Timber Bridge. It is suitable for a shorter span.

Steel Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Steel Bridge

Steel bridges are constructed using steel cables or bars. Steel bridges are more durable as compare to Timber Bridge.

They can also carry a heavy load and are suitable for a long span.

Steel bridges are built for many projects like railways, highways, for supporting gas lines, pipelines, oil lines, etc.

RCC Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
RCC Bridge

In RCC Bridge, Reinforced concrete is used as a construction material. This type of bridge is more stable and durable.

It is suitable for longspan as well as heavily loaded traffic. Nowadays RCCtype bridges are widely used. It is generally used for constructing fly-over and highway bridges.

Pre-stressed Concrete Bridge

Prestressed concrete is placed under compression before applying the loads. The construction of a prestressed bridge deck slab is made with the use of concrete blocks.

This type of bridge is suitable for short to long spans. The prestressed concrete bridge is having a heavy loadcarrying capacity.

A pre-stressed concrete bridge is requiring high tensile steel, which is more expensive than ordinary mild steel.

Composite Bridge

The bridges constructed by the combinations of more than one or two construction materials are known as Composite bridges.

Pre – Stress Bridge is one of the best examples of composite material because Prestress girder overlaying the RCC deck slab.

In which RCC slab and Girder are two different kinds of materials.


2. Classification of the Bridge According to Purpose

Aqueduct

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Aqueduct

An aqueduct is a structure, which is used to transport water from one place to another place over an obstacle.

Pedestrian Bridge (Or) Foot Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Foot Over Bridge

The Pedestrian Bridge is the bridge that is used for only pedestrians. To pass over one place to another place or to pass over the obstacle.

Only bicycle is permitted on the pedestrian bridge.

Railway Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Railway Bridge

Railway Bridge is used for the movement of trains over an obstacle. In that case, Steel Bridges are widely used.

Pipe Bridge

Pipe bridges are used for supporting the pipeline on the deck slab of the bridgePipeline Such as oil, gas, water, communication cables, etc.

Pipe Bridges include walkways that are utilized only during the maintenance of the bridge.  Also, public movement is restricted on this walkway.


3. Classification of the Bridge According to Span

Culvert Bridge

In Culvert bridge the bridge span length is below 6 meters.

Minor Bridge

In Minor Bridge, the bridge span length is between 8 to 30 meters.

Major Bridge

In a major bridge, the bridge span length is between 30 to 120 meters.

Long Span Bridge

When the span length of the bridge is more than 120 meters then it is known as a longspan bridge.

Road cum Railway Bridge

This type of bridge is useful for both purposes such as road transport and railway transport. These types of bridges are maybe one floor or two floors.

If the one floor is there then, roadway and railway are arranged side by side. Otherwise, railway on the bottom deck and roadway on top decks are preferred.

Read More: 75 Construction Tools | Construction Tools Name | Civil Engineering Tools Names


4. Classification of the Bridge According to a Type of Span

Simply Supported Bridge

Simply Supported Bridge acts as a simply supported beam. In that case, the bridge slab is simply supported at both ends.

A simply supported bridge is suitable for shorter spans.

Continuous Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Continuous Bridge

In a continuous bridge, the length of the bridge is very large then we have built more support in between the end supports.

It is suitable for large spans.

Cantilever Bridge

A cantilevered type of bridge is similar to a cantilever beam. They have only one support at the end and another end of support is free.

Balanced cantilevered bridge.

In a cantilever bridge, two cantilever portions are joined together for the movement of vehicles and humans.

A balanced cantilevered bridge is used for the span range is 35 to 60 m. these also consist of a span simply supported over cantilevers.


5. Classification of the Bridge According to Loading

Temporary Bridge

A temporary Bridge as the name suggests it is used for a short period or Temporary .during the construction of dams, bridges and during floods, temporary bridges are constructed.

These types of bridges are lowcost bridges. After the construction of the original structure, these temporary bridges are dismantled.

For example, during a flood temporary bridge is used after that it is dismantled.  Timber Bridge is used for a temporary purpose.

Permanent Bridge

These types of bridges are constructed for longterm or permanent purposes. Permanent bridge construction and maintenance costs are high as compare to the temporary bridge.

RCC bridges and steel bridges are widely used as permanent bridges


Classification of the Bridge According to Location

Deck Bridge

In this type of Deck Bridge, the floor of the bridge is provided at the top of the superstructure.

Also, the deck slab is lies between the Formation level and High Flood Level.

Through Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Through Bridge

This Type of Bridge Superstructure is completely above the formation level. But the deck slab is providing at the bottom of the superstructure.

Semi-Through Bridge

In this type of Semi through Bridge, the superstructure is partially below and partially above the formation level.

Also, the deck slab or floor level is providing in the intermediate level of the superstructure.


6. Classification of Bridges According to High Flood Level (HFL)

  • Low-level bridge
  • High-level bridge

Low-Level Bridge (or) Submersible Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Causeway Bridge

In a Lowlevel bridge, the superstructure of the bridge is completely below the water body. So, the bridge deck will be submerged in water during periods of high floods.

These types of bridges become unusable during periods of heavy rain. These types of bridges are constructed in unimportant routes with low cost.

It is also known as a submersible bridge. Causeway is one type of submersible bridge.

High-Level Bridge

A highlevel bridge is also known as a nonsubmersible bridge.

A Highlevel bridge superstructure of the bridge is completely above the HFL of the canal, river, or stream. Also, this is constructed on important routes.


7. Classification of the Bridge According to Alignment

Straight bridge

The straight bridge is the bridge which alignment is perpendicular to the centerline of the obstacles such as river or stream, canal, railway, roadway, etc.

Skew bridge

In a skew bridge, the alignment of the bridge is not perpendicular to the obstacle.


8. Classification of the Bridge According To A Level of Crossing

Over Bridge (or) Flyover

Overbridge as the name suggests which is constructed over the existing route.

The existing route may be either a roadway or railway.

Under Pass

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Under Pass

In the existing route of the tunnels are passing is called an underpass.

At the time of construction of the tunnel, several important things are kept in mind are as follows,

  • Vertical clearance for heavily loaded
  • Vehicles, drainage facilities,
  • Lighting.

Read More: Cofferdam | Coffer Dam | Types of Cofferdam | Crib cofferdam | Cofferdam Types


9. Classification of Bridge According to a Type of Superstructure

Suspension Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Suspension Bridge

In a suspension bridge, the cables support the deck slab of the bridge and these cables are attached with the suspenders.

Suspenders are curved cables that are running on the full length of the bridge and on either side of the bridge.

These suspenders are connecting with the two towers at the end of the bridge. In earlier times suspensions were made from ropes and nowadays we are used steel as suspenders.

Also, the suspension bridges are suitable for lightweight, long span and forest training purposes. Suspension bridge gives good aesthetics.

 The following subtypes are given below

  • Simple suspension bridge
  • Stressed ribbon bridge
  • Under span suspension bridge
  • suspension bridge
  • Selfanchored suspension bridge.

Cable-stayed Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Cable Stayed Bridge

A cablestayed bridge is similar to a suspension bridge. The only difference is they have more heavy cable and vertical towers. So that It can hold a much heavy load.

This vertical tower is known as a pylon. The height of the pylon is much greater as compared to a suspension bridge. Also, it is more durable and stronger.

In cablestayed bridge cables are connected with the tower follows two designs,

  • Fan Design
  • Harp Design

10. Classification of the Bridge According to Navigation Facilities

Swing Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Swing Bridge

A swing bridge is a type of bridge that can be rotated horizontally with respect to the vertical support. These vertical supports provide at the center of the span.

The supports The rotation of the bridge deck mainly enables the movement of ships or vehicles to pass through them.

Bascule Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Bascule Bridge

In Bascule Bridge the bridge deck slab is lifted its upward direction for the movement of ships. For stability purposes, provide a counterweight at the end of the bridge span. 

This type of bridge can lift its deck upward for the movement of ships.

Traverse Bridge (or) Draw Bridge

In Transverse Bridge the deck slab moves over the rollers or wheels. These bridge deck slab can be moved away or towards from the river or any water body and the extended part of the bridge serve as a cantilever.

Lift Bridge

In the lift bridge, the deck slab of the bridge moves up and down. it is the main purpose is the movement of the ship from one place to another place vertically.


Factors Affect on Selection Of A Bridge Type

Consider the followings steps

  • span length 
  • Spacing of beam
  • Availability of Equipment or Technology
  • Availability of MaterialsConstruction speed
  • Site condition          
  • span length 
  • Spacing of beam
  • Availability of Equipment or Technology
  • Availability of MaterialsConstruction speed
  • Site condition
  • Overall Cost
  • Access to maintenance
  • Aesthetic purpose          

Which Types of Data are Required for Designing of Bridge

Hydraulic Data (Hydraulic Design) such as,

  • High Flood Level
  • Scour Depth     
  • Clear waterway
  • For details Refer to code IRC: 5 2015.
  • Selection of Site for bridge
  • Selection of Bridge Type
  • Structural Design of bridge

The Longest Bridge in the World

1. The  Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China. 164km.

2. Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan. 157km.

3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China. 116km.

4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China. 113km.

5.Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China. 79km.

 Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

40 Types of Bridges | Classification of Bridges | 40 Different Types of Bridges Used In The World
Danyang – Kunshan Grand Bridge

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FAQs:

What Is a Bridge?

The bridge is a rigid structure that allows the movement of vehicles and people to cross an obstacle like a stream, river, canal, valley, heavy traffic road, etc.

What are the parts of bridge?

  • Sub Structure Foundation, Piers, and Abutments
  • Bearing
  • Super Structure – Any structure above the bearing and wearing surface of the bridge.
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