The United States is home to thousands of bridges. These bridges are a necessary form of transportation across the many bodies of water. Without them, people would not have the ability to commute across oceans and lakes. While we assume and hope that all of these bridges are safe for commute, a large percentage of them are not. Until recently, bridges were not even required to be inspected regularly. After a few large scale bridge accidents, regulations have improved. However, the country still has a lot of room for improvement.
Existence of dangerous bridges
You might be surprised at how dangerous many of the countries bridges actually are. In fact, over two hundred million trips are taken daily across deficient bridges in the nation?s 102 largest metropolitan regions. Although efforts are beginning on improving these dangerous bridges, the efforts do not seem fast enough. There are simply not enough funds or workers to quickly create temporary walking bridges or to rebuild the broken bridges.
In total, one in nine of the nation?s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, while the average age of the nation?s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years. Many believe that bridges need to be examined annually and then receive mandatory repairs and updates every couple of years. Yet, there are many bridges across the country that have never even been touched since they were initially built.
Process of a rebuild
The process of rebuilding a bridge is actually quite extensive. Considering that many of the countries bridges are a necessary way of commuting from one location to another, a temporary walking bridge or driving bridge needs to be erected while repairs are made. The problem with this is that sometimes building the temporary walking bridge is just as time consuming as repairing the initial bridge.
A fast installation bridge or construction propping system can, however, be beneficial in smaller scaled bridges. If the bridge does not receive much auto transportation or is strictly a walking bridge, these processes can be much quicker. For larger or more populated bridges, a military bridge may need to be conducted in the meantime.
Other commuting troubles
Not all bridges are for walking or driving purposes. Some bridges were created with the purpose of railroad commuting. Much of the countries business and delivery system relies on effective railroad transportation. If you take a railroad bridge out of the system, the train has to either be rerouted or removed from the delivery system entirely. A quickbridge can sometimes solve the railroad transportation problem.
Advanced bridge technologies
Fortunately, the advancement of technology and building practices has increased the way that bridges are built. They are created today with higher quality materials that last for a longer period of time and are safer overall. Truss bridges, for example, is a very popular bridge design that uses diagonal meshes of posts above the bridge. The two most common designs are the king posts (two diagonal posts supported by single vertical posts in the center) and queen posts (two diagonal posts, two vertical posts and horizontal posts that connect two vertical posts at the top). This increased method may decrease the amount of maintenance and rebuilds that are necessary on the bridge. The only trouble is figuring out how to design a temporary walking bridge or driving bridge while this complex bridge is being built.
Bridges are an essential part of the design of our country. Many of our bridges, however, are severely lacking in quality and safety. Rebuilding or maintaining our current bridges is a difficult process because they are so essential to transportation for millions of residents. Some methods can be temporarily used during maintenance, such as the temporary walking bridges or military bridges. New technologies in bridge designs should decrease the amount of repairs that need to occur on the countries newest of bridges. We just have to find a way to build and incorporate these new bridges into our current countries designs.