resources submenu
Cities of bridges - Introduction- Construction - Challenge

Construction of bridges > Part 1 | Part 2

The arched bridge

This is a very traditional style of bridge and was used by the Romans and ancient Chinese. The arch is a strong shape and can carry heavy loads across wide gaps. They can be more difficult to build than beam bridges because the arch is more complicated. They might need a tie to stop them spreading when they have a heavy load. Ponte Dom Luís 1 is a spectacular example of an arched bridge. An example of an arched bridge in South West England is the Royal Albert Bridge which crosses the river Tamar between Devon and Cornwall.

arched bridge

The suspension bridge

This design of bridge uses the least amount of materials and is based on tension, just like a rope bridge. The main deck of the bridge hangs from strong, evenly spaced cables. It is important that the main piers are strong and balanced, and the cables are securely anchored to the ground. A famous example is the Clifton Suspension Bridge which spans the Avon Gorge. Another suspension bridge, built in 1966, spans the River Severn, carrying the M4 connecting South West England and South Wales.

suspension bridge

Now you know a bit about the designs of bridges it's time for your bridge building challenge!

Top ^