A concrete bridge is a structure made from concrete and built for the purpose of covering a certain distance. Typically, concrete bridges allow vehicles or people to cross over physical obstructions, such as lakes, rivers, valleys, or roads. Concrete is one of the most common types of materials used in modern-day bridge construction.
Building a bridge out of concrete can have many advantages. Generally, concrete is a highly versatile substance because it can withstand a wide variety of climates. It can be mixed in a way that gives it the ability to resist extreme temperature fluctuations as well as corrosive chemicals. As a result, a concrete bridge functions well in most regions of the world. Concrete is also a flexible material, allowing an engineer to be creative when planning the aesthetic attributes of a concrete bridge design project.
Concrete is typically more durable than other types of materials, such as steel or timber. In fact, some types of concrete can last for up to 100 years. Because of this, concrete bridges are often lower maintenance than other kinds of bridges with fewer overall upkeep costs. The cost of initial construction is also frequently lower with concrete than with other types of materials.
A prestressed concrete bridge is a type of concrete bridge that has gained popularity since the late 1940’s. It is particularly useful in lengthening a bridge’s span capability. Essentially, prestressed concrete is designed to counteract limitations associated with creating tension in concrete. Prestressed concrete bridges typically contain reinforcement bars made out of substances like steel cables or rods that are fitted inside the poured concrete. These bars help counteract stress that the bridge would otherwise realize.
Concrete is one of the most widely-used materials in current arch bridge design. A concrete arch bridge consists of a structure with a curved arch, which serves as the main support mechanism. In addition, an arch bridge usually contains two abutments, which are placed at each end of the curved arch. Contemporary concrete arch bridges are usually constructed from reinforced concrete, which contains steel reinforcement bars.
A specialized type of concrete, known as high-performance concrete, can be used when constructing a concrete bridge. High-performance concrete is designed to exceed the performance of regular concrete. It ordinarily has a water-cement material ratio of about 0.40 or less, although this number can vary depending on the type of bridge being built. The location for the bridge also influences high-performance concrete mix proportions because temperature and other factors require changing the water-cement ratio.