Advantages and Disadvantages of Beam Bridges
Beam bridges or Girder Bridges are a type of bridges made out of continuous beams. The traditional and cost-effective structures have been in the US for centuries. These structures are the simplest ones containing a horizontal beam that is supported at both ends by piers. They provide a beautiful addition to any landscape and are functional as well. However, besides being economical, beam bridges have their limitations as well. The advantages and disadvantages of beam bridges go in-depth of the possible and faced pros and cons.
Girder bridges provide a safe and reliable way to cross over water or other obstacles without support underneath the bridge. These bridges have been around for centuries and continued to be used today because they last so long. Beam bridges are a type of bridge that is often used in countries with mountainous terrain.
These structures allow vehicles to cross relatively deep valleys and can be constructed without any support pillars. Beams bridges are the best investment you'll ever make.
What are the Advantages of Beam bridges?
Beam bridges have advantages over other types of bridges because they're less expensive, require no additional supports for span length, can handle low volume or emergency traffic, and are highly suited for modification before erection, their ability to provide easy access for pedestrians as well as vehicles. More Brief details regarding the Advantages of Beam bridges are settled below.
1. Less Expensive
A beam bridge is less expensive to construct than most other types of bridges. This makes them a good option for small spans and low-traffic areas, such as back roads or rural villages. The cost advantages are due to the simplicity of its construction and because it can be made with local materials instead of imported steel or concrete products.
2. Built Quickly
They can be built very quickly, which is a significant advantage for these types of structures. This is because the materials are not heavy, and they do not need to span wide distances. Once you have your plan in place, construction should take less than a week—even on longer spans where more than one beam bridge could be used at once.
3. Versatility is one of the main advantages of beam bridges
Another advantage worth noting about beam bridges is how versatile they are compared to more traditional forms like truss or girder bridges. In addition, beam bridges are easy to assemble and disassemble, making them perfect for temporary use on construction sites where there is a need for regular access by heavy vehicles like cranes.
4. Less environmental impact
Beam bridges have little effect on local wildlife because they don't require land clearance like some other structures, such as building piers across water channels that might disrupt animal habitats below-ground or block waterways altogether. A simple design could minimize traffic noise pollution from vehicles using the new roadway too.
5. Multiple material options available
Multiple material options are available to use to construct a Beam Bridge, including wood, concrete, steel, and wire rope. A Beam Bridge is highly flexible in its design because it can be designed to suit any size or weight restriction. You can enhance the life of a Beam bridge using higher-grade materials.
What are the Disadvantages of Beam Bridges?
In the United States, beam bridges are primarily used in parking garages and other small structures. Despite the disadvantages of beam bridges, they are often selected for projects where structural complexity is limited due to cost concerns with alternative designs or when seismic conditions limit the ability of a structure to survive ground shaking. Considering the following limitations of beam bridges is vital while you draw out your construction plans.
1. Span limitations
The disadvantages of beam bridges include span limitations. Beam bridges have a limited length, which can be increased with an additional support column at one end of the bridge. The depth limitation is determined by how much load the material used to construct it will withstand and, in turn, determines what kind of traffic may cross it.
2. Sagging Issue is one of the concerning disadvantages of beam bridges
Beam bridges can be susceptible to sagging, which means gravity puts the beam under a compressive load because there is no weight transfer on the bridges made entirely of concrete. The repetitive heavyweight of a specific section on the bridge can cause the bridge to sag.
The problem may turn severe as more and more vehicles add weight to the bridge. In addition, if there’s no regular maintenance on the bridge, the bridge turns vulnerable to collapse over time.
3. Provide Only Basic Support
Beam bridges cannot support the weight of heavy vehicles like trucks, buses, or even trains. Heavy vehicles can cause damage to a beam bridge and eventually collapse it. A "one size fits all" is limited in its use because different types of spans may be needed for specific locations or purposes.
Such disadvantages of a beam bridge would also depend on what type it is being used for and whether or not they have sound engineering behind them. It can take more time to construct a beam bridge than other kinds because beams need to be precisely cut and installed into place. If one detail isn't measured correctly, then everything else could go wrong.
4. Weaken as they get older
Beam bridges weaken as they get older, and this could be a problem if one of the beams is damaged. As time goes on, it might become easier to push over or even collapse an old beam bridge than a new one that has been treated with protective coatings such as paint and sealant.
This can cause structural damage to joints in the structure that hold pieces together, along with cracks forming in other parts of the foundation, like at concrete abutments beneath the supports. The more deterioration there is, you're going to have more risk associated with using that bridge, so many people will choose not to use it anymore because their safety becomes compromised when they cross it.
5. Deck Span width limited by its design
Its design & and construction naturally limit the deck span width of a beam bridge. The deck width and the number of beams available for support will determine how wide a beam bridge can be without it becoming unstable or too expensive to construct, limiting the maximum capacity load-carrying ability of a beam bridge.
Conclusion on Pros and Cons of Beam Bridges
These beam bridge pros and cons indicate that this type of economical and simple bridge can be a viable option for areas with basic traffic corridors or obstacles to maneuver. It will not, however, be the foundation of a significant network because of its design limitations. Let's think about major beam bridges connecting one end of the state to the other.