Commonly Used Materials for Bridges and Why

There are many bridges built using a variety of materials. For a business owner for example, who is in need of a bridge that will make the establishment look better, say a resort, it can be overwhelming to look at the different materials that you could employ for the specific project. So what exactly are the materials that should be used for specific needs?


Decks using concrete that is poured over a form pan during the construction is one of the best. Vehicles smaller than a pickup truck only require concrete on average of about 4-5 inches thick. There are also times when a concrete that is dyed is used to prevent the bridge from streaking from weathering steel. Dyed concrete is sometimes used to hide stains from weathering steel. Mostly used for an overpass, one of the best features of using concrete is that it can be molded and directly run off from traffic.


There are still contractors today that make use of wood. Wood, over the years has been more economical, and natural. It can be noted that the first men also used wood to build their primitive bridges.  Aside from this, it is more rustic, and is still highly requested today. The convenience of installing it makes it a go-to design for owners since it is lightweight and can be installed using hand tools only. Another reason for building a wooden bridge is because it is easy to remove as well. It is ideal for places in which truck access is limited, as it cannot carry as heavy load as concrete. Nowadays, though, there is a Top grade Ipe also known as Ironwood. It is used primarily for decks because it is the toughest and longest lasting out of all woods used to construct a bridge.

Metal or Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP)

Metal bridges are commonly used for industrial purposes or in areas where animals are prevented from crossing. The hazards, however, when using this type of material is that a woman’s stiletto can easily slip off the gaps, and can create an accident. Bridges made out of these normally have the capacity of 5 tons.


Though less popular, it can be used for a pedestrian or single-lane bridge for vehicles. The con of using this is that it is expensive because of the eventual structural metal corrugation which supports the heavy equipment needed to build it. Likewise, this byproduct of petroleum companies actually has no structural values.

When contracting a bridge construction company, it is important that they let you in all of the details involved in the project. This will allow you to have more choices. More importantly, you should be able to seek their advice on which material is best suited for the type of bridge you need and the budget that you have. Another vital thing to consider is the usage—will it be for the public, will it carry heavy loads, or will it just be for people? These among other considerations are likely to become the issue between contractors and their clients.


Mark is a technician who installs security systems for premium properties. He occasionally shares his experience via his blog on how technology innovations in home security camera system and how it has made life easier for house owners.