We know that the purpose of bridges is to make a passage over an obstacle, river or valley. Classification of bridges is done based on the span, depth, topography of the region.
There is a large number of classification of bridges based upon the function. Below are the most used types of bridges in the world.
1.Classification of bridges based on the superstructure of the bridge
a. Arch Bridge
The arch bridge has been using for over 3000 years. It is one of the oldest and popular types of bridges. The arch bridges are designed in curve shape as shown in the figure below.
The support between the arches carries the total load. These supports are called abutments. They are usually masonry structures.
b. Girder Bridge
A girder bridge is mostly used in the modern world. It can carry huge loads. It consists of steel I section and box sections. It consist of deck slabs, the deck slab is made up of RC structures or steel structures.
The deck slab and girders together resist the load coming on the bridge The picture of girder bridge is shown below.
Suspension bridge a type of bridge in which deck slab is carried by using ropes as shown in the figure below. They are used commonly for a longer span and they are good in appearance.
d. Truss bridges
2. Classification of bridges based on the types of material
a. RCC Bridge
Reinforced cement concrete are used for RCC bridge structures. They are the commonly used type of bridges nowadays.
b. Timber bridge
Timber bridge has been using since old days. Timber bridges are used for short spans bridges. They are mostly used as temporary bridges.
c. Steel Bridge
Steel bridges are made up of steel. They are mainly used for long-span bridges, railway bridges and footbridges. Steel bridges can be used for built span for any length and it has high durability.
Steel bridge can bear large loads and it is not economical.
d. Masonry bridges
Bricks and stones are used for the construction of masonry bridges. Masonry bridges are normally used for short span bridges.
3. Other types of bridges
a. Over bridges
Over bridges are mostly used for city having heavy traffic block.To reduce the traffic block, a bridge is constructed over the main road at junctions to maintain a continuous flow of vehicles
b. Under bridges
These are the mainly seen classification of bridges or types of bridges all over the world.