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Bridge Design: Building Before Building – Vaanahaa Blog

Bridge Design: Building Before Building – Vaanahaa Blog

- Nabonita Thursday April 11, 2019

” He dreamt often of building a bridge across the ocean to his old home. Carle’s later life-affirming artistic response to his dark, early experience and the liberating notion of himself as a bridge builder were to determine the tenor of his work. “

– Eric


Since my childhood, I always fascinate about bridges. I love the concept of crossing over large spans of land or huge masses of water, and to connect two far-off points, eventually reducing the distance between them by providing passage over the obstacle of small caverns, valley, road, body of water, or other physical obstacles. Living in Kolkata and seeing Howrah Bridge since childhood always added like stardust glistening on fairy wings of any bridge lovers mind.

The initial need to create crossings has always been one of mankind’s biggest challenges and often leads to an increase in man’s ambition to have a more enhanced understanding of mechanics and advances in technology and materials. These challenges create opportunities, and some of the greatest leaps in engineering design and construction have occurred from the need to push boundaries. The first bridges made by humans were probably spans of wooden logs or planks and eventually stones, using a simple support and crossbeam arrangement.

You will be amazed by the facts that The Indian Epic literature Ramayana provides mythological accounts of bridges constructed from India to Sri Lanka by the army of Sri Rama, the mythological King of Ayodhya. The recent satellite photograph depicts the existence of this bridge, referred to in Ramayana.

Mention of bridges being constructed by Mauryan dynasty in India is given in Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Before pre-historic people began to build the crudest shelter for themselves they bridged streams. Trees that have fallen across the stream from bank to bank acted as bridges. The wandering tribe that first deliberately made a tree fall across a stream where the first bridge builders. Observing monkeys swing of the several vines, led to connecting parallel cables with some sort of cross pieces, to support as bridges. Later hand grips were proved which led to suspension bridges. Rope bridges, a simple type of suspension bridge, were used by the Inca civilization in the Andes Mountains of South America. The first bridges were natural of huge rock arch that spans. The first man-made bridges were tree trunks laid across streams in girder fashion, flat stones, and festoons of vegetation, twisted or braided and hung in suspension.

In the real world, different types of bridges are chosen based on how they are going to be used, and the type of materials that are available. For example, modern-day bridges are very different from bridges built during the Renaissance era. There are several major bridge designs to choose from, but only a few are able to be reproduced in a classroom.

The ancient Romans were the greatest bridge builders of antiquity. They used cement, — called pozzolana consisting of water, lime, sand, and volcanic rock, which reduced the variation of strength found in natural stone.

Though extremely versatile, wood has one obvious disadvantage and during the 18th century there were many innovations in the design and a major breakthrough in bridge technology came with the erection of the Iron Bridge in Coalbrookdale in England during 1779, using cast iron for the first time as arches to cross the river, Severn. With the Industrial Revolution, steel, which has a high tensile strength, replaced wrought iron for the construction of larger bridges to support large loads and later welded structural bridges of various designs were constructed.

A lot more to learn. Although after visiting several bridges in different states try to make a model bridge. It is fun constructing your own bridge model of your imagination and design. Learn from design and fabricate your own bridge. The bridge model made by you can take up to 1000 times the self-weight. Includes instruction on the key structural components of Structural engineering and bridge construction – beams, arches, trusses, suspensions, and test for maximum load. Why wait?? Learn by yourself from the Industry experts. Book your seats before it grabbed by anyone else who dreamt to be a bridge builder.

Here’s are some of the prototypes for your imagination. join our workshop and mesmerize us with your imagination as a bridge maker.

Some of the famous bridges around India:

Howrah Bridge, Kolkata


Lakshman Jhoola, Haridwar


Bandra Worli sea link bridge, Mumbai 

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