When did The Construction of Bridges Start?

            In ancient times, rivers or large water bodies were natural divisions or borders between tow distant lands. Later, people probably found that a fallen log across a stream provided them with a useful footbridge. In jungle areas, they could make a simple foot bridge out of ropes of vines twisted together. When people began to fine then the log and vine bridges could not carry carts and wagons, or large number of people across wider spans, they began to improve their bridges to meet their needs.

Beam Bridges
Arch Bridges

            The most primitive form is the beam or girder bridge consisting of a rigid beam resting at either end on piers. The span may be increased by the use of beams.

            This eventually led to creation of truss bridges. These were mainly wooden or metal framework designed for greater strength.

            As per written records, the first bridge of wooden beams resting on stone piers was built in 2230 B.C. across the river Euphrates in Babylon. After this, an arched bridge of stone was constructed across Anio River in Italy about 600 B.C.

            Gradually a lot of improvements were made in the art and science of building bridges. In 1779, the first metal bridge was built over Severn River in England. In 1887, the first reinforced concrete bridge was built over river Rhine in Germany. The oldest bridge is in Florence, Italy.

            Today due to the advancement in technology, engineers and architects are able to construct very long and strong bridges. Usually bridges are divided into four categories: 1. Girder or Beam Bridges, 2. Arced Bridges, 3. Suspension Bridges and 4. Movable bridges. Nowadays, the bridges are being built over very wide rivers. The construction of double strayed bridges too has become easy. One storey of such bridges is used for road transportation and the other for trains. The most common temporary bridges are pontoon or floating bridge comprising floating bridge comprising floating members that support a continuous roadway.

            Did you know that the longest bridge in the world is humbler estuary bridge of England? A sum of 67 million pounds was spent on its construction. The world’s widest long-span bridge is the Sydney harbor bridge of Australia. It is 502.9 meters long and 48 meters wide. The highest bridge of the world built over Arkansas River of USA stands 321 meters 1053 feet above the sea level.