Understanding Arch Bridges and Why They are Ideal for Tunnel Overpasses

Posted on: 29 March 2016

When going for a tunnel overpass, you want to be certain that you have a structure that can stand the test of time and serve you for a very long time. Most importantly, it should be able to sustain the weight and pressure caused by anything that passes above it, ranging from that of a person, a cyclist, a car, or heavy vehicle. This is why you have to make the right choice among a host of different types of bridges. Thankfully, an arch bridge has some attributes that make it suitable ideal for places where a versatile and sturdy bridge is required. Here's why you should consider opting for arch bridges over tunnels:  

Arch Bridges are Resistant

Arch bridges derive their strength from their resistance, which is their ability to stand up to the weight of the things that pass across the bridge. Arch bridges have good resistance because they displace the force exerted on them at both ends of the bridge. This is unlike the other conventional bridges that displace the forces against them at the centre of the bridge, making them weak as the time goes by.

By weighting the bridge on both ends, the force is rarely too much at the middle of the bridge. This makes the arch bridges more durable and dependable than the traditional horizontal bridges, especially over tunnels where you are looking to minimise the high risk of a bridge collapsing after some time.

Cheaper Building Materials

When building most bridges, iron and steel are the most commonly used materials. However, this is not entirely the case for arch bridges. Besides iron and steel, these bridges can be constructed using any material that is capable of withstanding immense pressure such as stone and bricks. Such materials are a cheaper alternative compared to iron and steel. By opting for an arch bridge, you can certainly save a lot of money when undertaking a project by going for the relatively cheaper construction materials such as bricks.

Arch Bridges Get Stronger With Time

Once the bridge has been set up, it will become stronger as people use it over the years. The force exerted on the bridge helps to compact the materials used in its construction, which makes the foundation firmer. The curved shape helps the bridge to attain this.

As much as the arch bridges take long to be set up, they are still a worthy investment given the strength and durability you will enjoy. Moreover, you will also have to carry out regular maintenance and bridge repair if you use natural materials such as bricks.