Advantages and Disadvantages of Truss Bridges

Truss bridges are a type of bridge design that uses multiple triangles to support very heavy loads. They are widely used and re most common with road traffic bridges due to their heavy load capabilities. Along with the triangular formations, joints and other forms of enforcement are used to further increase the bridge’s strengths. Many people argue over whether or not the truss bridge is the strongest bridge design today, let’s take a look at all of the advantages and disadvantages to figure it out.

The Advantages of Truss Bridges

1. Economical To Build
The materials to build a truss bridge are minimal, and every single bit is used very efficiently. It also utilizes cheaper and lighter materials. The strength comes when these materials are formed to the triangles.

2. Very Strong
The unique triangular design provides support for the entire bridge. This gives it great strength making it ideal for very high traffic and heavy load areas.

3. Road Placement
Truss bridges are one of the only types of bridges where the actual road way can be placed directly on top. This helps to make it easily integrated into the construction process.

4. Built In Difficult Places
These types of bridges can be built across small or long spans while maintaining their strength. Virtually anywhere that a bridge is needed, a truss bridge can do the job.

The Disadvantages of Truss Bridges

1. Complicated Design
The design of truss bridges can become very complicated depending on the situation. The triangles have to be the perfect size and there has to be the perfect amount in order for the truss bridge to be safe.

2. Maintenance
Due to the amount of materials and different parts, the upkeep on truss bridges can be difficult. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what is wrong if the bridge has issues.

3. Waste of Materials
If even just one small part of construction goes wrong, a very large amount of materials are wasted.

4. Very Heavy
Truss bridges are massive and weight quite a bit. In for the surrounding land to be able to support these bridges additional support is often needed. This may include making adjustments to existing structures around the bridge.

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Important Facts About Truss Bridges

  • Pegram, Bailey, Howe, and Bowstring are just a few different variations of truss bridges.
  • Truss bridges where invented during the early 20th century due to manufacturing limitations.
  • Due to the materials used, many older truss bridges have had to be replaced around the world.
  • Truss bridges are considered one of the most expensive to build bridges.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most famous truss bridges.
  • The Ikitsuki Bridge in Japan is the world’s longest truss bridge at 400 meters.
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