Bridge Terms

By on October 30, 2008

Hey everybody once again it’s me, First Timer. I thought the one thing that would make this website even better would be some vocabulary on the parts of bridges. Here are a few terms that might help if you ever need to describe different aspects of a truss or bridge:

Arch: A structure that is curved and carries weight in a vertical manner primarily by using x-axis compression.

Beam: Horizontal structures that hold a vertical weight while not bending. Girders are multiple beams placed together and are usually the foundation of a truss.

Bridge: A structure used in aiding humans and animals in transportation over gaps, rivers, etc.

Column: The part of a bridge that connects the footing to the bottom of the bridge’s deck.

Deck: The surface of a truss or bridge that people or things drive and walk across.

Fixed Arch: A structure that is permanently in a singleĀ area/position.

Footing: The part of a bridge that is under ground level.

Member: A part in a structure, most especially a truss.

Portal: The open ends on a Through Truss, a.k.a the entrance.

Span: The length in between the inner edges of two of the “legs” of a structure.

Strut: A member that is compressive.

Substructure: Bridge parts below deck.

Superstructure: Bridge parts deck and above.

Suspenders: Tension members on the cable from the main cable to the deck of a suspension bridge.

Tie: Tension member of a truss.

Tower: A large frame holding the cables of a suspension bridge.

Truss: A stronger form of a beam or girder made with a web of members.

I hope this helps you build and describe your bridges for your classmates, students, and/or professors. Happy building everybody! If there is any other term that you don’t understand, post a comment and I will attempt to define it for you.

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7 thoughts on “Bridge Terms”

  1. Good Read! #ubi #ulticon #ulticonbuildersinc

    By Ulticon Builders Inc -- March 7, 2017
  2. Snapping and buckling

    By . -- November 19, 2015
  3. Hello…

    It would help a lot if we have the ilustrations along with the members names.


    By Wuhegthon -- March 11, 2013
  4. What is a side diagonal?
    Or an end post?
    How about a hip vertical?
    A top or bottom chord?
    Bottom lateral bracing?

    Thank you! šŸ™‚

    By Clarissa Jones -- September 13, 2010
  5. What exactly is the top chord?

    By Fidel -- April 8, 2010
    • Fidel, the top chord is the main beam along the top of the bridge.

      By Garrett Boon -- April 10, 2010
  6. whats a shear and torison

    By billy bob joe not really -- March 16, 2010

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