Engineers are commonly associated with building bridges and rightly so. Building bridges is more than just laying pile of woods over an obstacle. It is a structure that should last for a very long time and it should effectively serve its purpose. To achieve this, engineers have to painstakingly and meticulously design a bridge.
While there are different types of bridges and the design and plan may differ, the general guidelines in building a bridge remains the same. Here are some of the guidelines an engineer should never forget to consider when constructing a bridge.
There a lot of materials that an engineer can choose from. These may include wood, steel, plastic, concrete, and others. With the growing concern for saving the earth, some bridges are now innovatively designed to be more eco-friendly. This means that some bridges are now constructed with recycled materials.
A wise engineer would consider the weight that will pass through the bridge. While it is common to think of the vehicles passing through the bridge, the weight of the materials should be taken into consideration as well. Without proper calculation and right planning, a bridge can collapse well before it is being constructed.
A bridge can take various forms and serve different functions. A bridge exclusively built for people will be different from a bridge built for large vehicles. If the main function of bridge is to transport people, then the bridge can be built with lighter materials. But if the bridge will be used by vehicles, then planning should include high quality materials as well.
Maybe the number 1 determining factor that affects bridge construction is the budget. The materials, design, and labor force are directly dependent on the allocated budget. It will be futile to plan constructing a bridge and only to find out that there is no enough money to finish the project. Remember that bridges will take months and years to build and it will certainly need a big amount of money to sustain its construction until the end.
A bridge can be a structure built over various obstacles which may include body of water, valleys, ravine, canal, and others. The environment on which the bridge will be constructed should never be forgotten in the equation. Some bridges failed because designing the blueprint was highly concentrated on the bridge itself, while ignoring external factors that can affect the lifespan of the bridge. For example, a bridge built over a river should make sure that the foundation is properly founded. Water scouring may eat away the soil from the base and destroy the bridge from its foundation.
6. Architectural design
A bridge should not just be functional, but it should also be aesthetically designed. Of course, this is not of utmost importance, nevertheless, a bridge built with beauty and impressiveness is a sure construction bonus.
These are just some of the factors and guides that every engineer should remember. Remember that the effectiveness of a bridge will greatly depend upon the planning and designing of engineers.