Skip to main content

Bridges

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1950sDateCreated: 1956Lake Pontchartrain CausewayNew OrleansState: LACountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/lake-pontchartrain-causeway-bridge/Creator: Upson, Dr. Maxwell

In the 1940s and 1950s, New Orleans experienced growth. Unfortunately, access from the north to the City continued to be limited by Lake Pontchartrain. Driving around the Lake was a time consuming effort. During this time period, a renewed interest developed to provide a direct connection across the center of the Lake to the north shore. As a result, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission was formed to build the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. The original bridge (southbound) was opened on August 30, 1956.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/glennaa (CC BY 2.0)
Howard Clifford running off the Tacoma Narrows Bridge during collapse
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1940sDateCreated: 1940sTacomaState: WACountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/tacoma-narrows-bridges(1)/Creator: Eldridge, Clark

Taken together, the 1940 and 1950 Tacoma Narrows bridges mark a significant turning point in the design of long-span suspension bridges. The original 1940 structure was designed with one of the shallowest and narrowest stiffening elements of any long-span suspension bridge yet built. The structure failed dramatically in a rather moderate 42 mph windstorm on 7 November 1940, only four months after opening for traffic.

Image Caption: Howard Clifford running off the Tacoma Narrows Bridge during collapse
River des Peres Sewage & Drainage Works
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1924-1921St. LouisState: MOZip: 63109Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/River-des-Peres-Sewage---Drainage-Works/Creator: Horner, W.W.

In 1915, a tropical storm dropped nearly 11 inches of rain on St. Louis in just 17 hours, causing a devastating flood. Claiming 11 lives and the homes of 1,025 families, the flood focused public and government attention onto the problems of the river. 

YearAdded:
1988
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/MillbrookyImage Caption: Today, the River Des Peres Sewage & Drainage Works provides the backbone for the 110-square-mile St. Louis drainage basin.Era_date_from: 1924
Missouri River Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1920-1927ChamberlainState: SDZip: 57325Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Missouri-River-Bridges/Creator: Kirkham, John Edward

The Chamberlain is the only surviving bridge of the original five. The others were replaced as the river rose due to flood control dams put in place over time.

YearAdded:
1994
Image Caption: Members of the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 200th Engineer Company guide a raft on the Missouri River during a river crossing operation on June 11, 2016. The Chamberlain in the background is the only surviving bridge of the five. The others were replaced as the river expanded due to flood control dams.Era_date_from: 1920
Lacey V. Murrow Bridge and Mount Baker Ridge Tunnels
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1940-1949DateCreated: 1940King County State: WAZip: 98040Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Lacey-V--Murrow-Bridge-and-Mount-Baker-Ridge-Tunnels/Creator: Murrow, Lacey V., Hadley, Homer

The 1.5 mile Lacey V. Murrow Bridge was the largest floating structure in the world and the first to be built of reinforced concrete when completed in 1940.  The bridge consisted of typically 300-foot long pontoons floated to site and rigidly connected to form a continuous structure and incorporated a unique floating concrete draw-span to allow for passage of marine traffic.  The original floating structure, constructed by Pontoon Bridge Builders, was accidentally sunk in 1990 during a major renovation effort and was replaced by 1993.

YearAdded:
2008
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Walter SiegmundImage Caption: The bridge and tunnel project were key in improving eastern access to Seattle, a major commercial port on the eastern rim of the Pacific Ocean. Era_date_from: 1940
Ironbridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1750-1799DateCreated: 1779Coalbrookdale-IronbridgeZip: TF8 7ALCountry: UKWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/iron-bridge/Creator: Darby III, Abraham

This bridge is recognized as the first iron bridge in the world. This rural region of England was an important industrial area thanks to coal deposits near the surface. In 1776 the nearest bridge that enabled people and goods to pass over the River Severn was two miles away at Buildwas. There was a ferry crossing, but the trip was difficult and dangerous especially in winter. In 1776, an Act to build a bridge to remedy this situation received Royal Assent.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/JasonjsmithImage Caption: This bridge is recognized as the first iron bridge in the world.Era_date_from: 1779
Five Stone Arch Bridges
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1830-1839DateCreated: 1830-1860HillsboroughState: NHZip: 03244Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Five-Stone-Arch-Bridges/

"Some of New Hampshire's most aesthetically pleasing yet least appreciated structures are stone arch bridges."

YearAdded:
2002
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Glass_house (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: The Gleason Falls Bridges, built in 1830, stands as a testament to the durability of dry-laid stone arches.Era_date_from: 1830
Firth of Forth Railway Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1890-1899DateCreated: 1890QueensferryZip: EH30 9SFCountry: UKWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Firth-of-Forth-Railway-Bridge/Creator: Benjamin, Baker

"The majestic Forth Bridge ... symbolises the tremendous achievements of Victorian engineers and the immense strides made in the technique of bridge design and construction since the dawn of the Railway Age..."
 - Derrick Bennett, Bridges: Great Buildings of the World

YearAdded:
1985
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Brain M Forbes (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: The Forth Bridge became the longest bridge in the world when it was completed in 1890.Era_date_from: 1890
Fink Through Truss Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1850-1859DateCreated: 1858HamdenState: NJZip: 08801Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Fink-Through-Truss-Bridge/

"Fink's truss design was one of a number of early patented solutions to [the problem of how] to carry a massive, moving weight (a train) over long spans (to avoid the expense of building piers and obstructing waterways) on easily erected bridges (often in rough terrain) with good long-term economy..." 
 - Kent Farnow Smith, "America's Oldest Functioning Iron-Truss Bridge," 1978

YearAdded:
1979
Image Credit: Courtesy Library of CongressImage Caption: This bridge is an example of the Fink truss, the most efficient solution to building long-span bridges quickly and economically during its time.Era_date_from: 1858
Seventh Street Improvement Arches
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1880-1889DateCreated: 1883St. PaulState: MNZip: 55117Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/seventh-street-improvement-arches/Creator: Truesdell, William A.

Designed by William A. Truesdell, a railroad engineer, the Seventh Street Improvement Arches celebrates the engineering application of mathematics to improve living conditions.

YearAdded:
2000
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Elkman (CC BY-SA 3.0) Image Caption: Designed by William A. Truesdell, a railroad engineer, the Seventh Street Improvement Arches celebrates the engineering application of mathematics to improve living conditions.Era_date_from: 1883
Subscribe to Bridges
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.