Web Bridges


How to read
a bridge


as art


Bridging the




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On the previous page we said a book and its parts (chapters, paragraphs etc) communicate messages at various levels.
Now we'll look at how a bridge and its parts (chapters, paragraphs etc) carry out their functions at various levels.

We have said that bridges do not have just one single function - they are required to do various jobs and are subject to various constraints.

The most important and necessary job is the technical one of carrying traffic and people safely.
So from now on we will simplify our discussion by referring to only one function i.e. the technical safety of a bridge.

You can read more about the aesthetics of bridges by clicking here or following the Header Link above Bridges as art.

So what are the technical chapters, paragraphs etc of a bridge?
We'll illustrate this with a suspension bridge. Click on the image - top right - to enlarge it with some further explanation.
In general, bridge chapters are sub-structures of combinations of BATS (Beams, arches, trusses and suspensions).
However not all BATS might be present in any one chapter.

Paragraphs are sub-sub structures of BATS - examples are voussoirs, spandrels, towers, cables, decks, box girders, piles, bearings and caissons.
In a real bridge there may be other levels of sub-structures too.
Sentences are components or elements such as I beams, bars, angles, plate, bolts.
Words are materials such as steel, concrete, timber, masonry, soil, rock.
Letters are constituents such as sand, cement, aggregate, iron, additives etc.

Now we need to consider the grammar of the book of bridges.

The chapters of a suspension bridge

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