A bridge is defined as a structure meant to carry a pathway or roadway over a depression or an obstacle, an example of such depression or obstacle is a river. These bridges are built in such a manner to allow for the safe passage of whatever load they are to hold. May this load be a person, a motorcycle, a car, a van, a truck, a train, or whatever else it may be, the bridge is to stand against and resist all the factors that intend to hinder the fulfillment of the bridge’s purpose for its being brought into existence, to serve as a connection for all that may need its services.
One of the most interesting things about bridge construction is that it requires the knowledge and skills of engineers from different disciplines including civil, electrical, geological, mechanical, and computer sciences, as well as the help from different fields such as those that deal with economics, meteorology, culture, politics, the environment, etc. Albeit that the effects on the other fields are miniscule compared to the
At the most basic level, there are main three types of bridge: beam, arch, and suspended. Of course, there is a multitude of subtypes under these each of which serve a different purpose and are built in accordance to certain requirements and specifications that are needed to meet the bridge’s unique purpose. The main types can be differentiated by their use and length, a beam bridge is usually used to connect short spans of crevices and is the most abundant bridge constructed in the Philippines, arch bridges usually have trusses and may connect longer spans than those that beam bridges connect, and suspension bridges connect much longer spans and is much lighter than the arch bridges because of it not needing a truss to support the section in its roadway path. These difference may be massive in weight, design, and cost but they are balanced out by the differences in their way they serve to the need that they are meant to alleviate.
To ensure that the bridge structure serves its purpose, certain pointers that should be checked with utmost care and done as religiously as possible. First, the design process has to consider, involve, and incorporate the different fields that are affected by the bridge building process as to not overshadow or miss an important component that may be the deciding factor affecting its efficiency in fulfilling its purpose. Second, the bridge should have ample funding ensuring not only its quality but also it being finished timely as to be able to provide its services as soon as possible. Along with the proper funding, properly accomplished permits and certifications are required for it to be built properly and in accordance to the regulations that are set to be followed as to minimize the chances that it fail suddenly or before its expected lifetime. Third, after having selected a contractor who does not only agree with the vision but is also aiming for the betterment of the bridge, construction may be started, with this comes a multitude of processes that are done much like how most would be done as long as it is in accordance to the specifications and codes provided by the governing body of a country in terms of development of its infrastructures. Lastly, the maintenance starts right after the construction phase is finished and only ends at the end of the lifetime of the bridge, once it has fulfilled its purpose enough times and has satisfied any and all who would be so inclined to pass through its span. Although these are the general steps in constructing its bridge, the process are not limited to those that are stated above for there are times that design may need other conditional requirements as long as it is aimed to the production of a viable and useful bridge for the open use of a plethora of passers-by all looking forward onto the opposite side of a bank that they need to cross for their subjective reasons or another, all of which completely unique and driven by different forces.