A vertical lift bridge or lift bridge is a type of movable bridge in which a span rises vertically while remaining parallel with the deck.
The vertical lift offers several benefits over other movable bridges such as the bascule and swing span bridge. Generally speaking they cost less to build for longer moveable spans. The counterweights in a vertical lift are only required to be equal to the weight of the deck, whereas bascule bridge counterweights must weigh several times more than the span being lifted. As a result, heavier materials can be used in the deck and so this type of bridge is especially suited for heavy railroad use.
Although most vertical lift bridges use towers each with counterweights, some use hydraulic jacks located below the deck. An example is the 16m span bridge at St Paul avenue in Milwaukee (see also table bridges). Another design used balance beams to lift the deck, with pivoting bascules located on the top of the lift towers. An example of this kind was built at La Salle in Illinois, USA.
The biggest disadvantage to the vertical lift bridge (in comparison with many other designs) is the height restriction for vessels passing under it. This is a result of the deck remaining suspended above the passageway.
- Bridges 5 (Glendale Avenue Bridge), 11 (Allanburg Bridge) and 21 (Clarence Street Bridge) on the Welland Canal, all built during the late 1920s as part of the Fourth Canal expansion project (1913-1932). In addition, there are also Bridges 13 (Main Street Bridge), 17 (Dain City Railway Bridge) and 18 (Forks Road Bridge) on the Welland Recreational Waterway (a former channel of the Welland Canal). However, these bridges have not been operational since 1973. Bridges 13 and 18 have had their counterweights removed while the machinery for Bridge 17 has been dismantled. In addition, Bridge 18 no longer possesses its towers; they were removed for ease of maintenance.
- Burligton Lift Bridge, over the Burlington Canal, Burlington, Ontario. Information is available from Transport Canada
- Pretoria Bridge over the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario
- Selkirk Lift Bridge over the Red River in Selkirk, Manitoba
- Victoria Bridge over the Saint Lawrence River connecting Saint-Lambert and Montreal, Quebec.
- Second Narrows Bridge Vancouver, BC over Burrard Inlet.
- Okanagan Lake Bridge in Kelowna, BC across Okanagan Lake.
- Shippagan Bridge Shippagan, NB over Shippagan Bay.
- Aerial Lift Bridge - an automobile bridge in Duluth, Minnesota which began life as an aerial transfer or ferry bridge.
- Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge - connecting Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York; at 170 m span, the longest in the world.
- ASB Bridge - A bridge that handled both trains and cars on two decks over the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Burlington-Bristol Bridge - A two-lane bridge over the Delaware River, joining Bristol, Pennsylvania with Burlington, New Jersey between Philadelphia and New York City.
- Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge - a single-track railroad bridge over the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne, Massachusetts.
- Cape Fear Memorial Bridge - A four-lane bridge over the Cape Fear River that joins Wilmington and Brunswick County, North Carolina.
- Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Lift Bridge - a single-track railroad bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Delaware that was built in 1966 for the Pennsylvania Railroad and replaced an earlier structure when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers widened the canal in the mid-1960s. It is the only bridge of its type along the canal, with earlier highway lift or swing bridges being replaced by high-level crossings.
- Claiborne Avenue Bridge - A four lane bridge over the ICWW carrying LA 39 in New Orleans
- Danziger Bridge The world's widest vertical lift movable bridge, at seven lanes, over the ICWW in New Orleans
- Hastings Rail Bridge - A single track railroad bridge at Hastings, Minnesota over the Mississippi River
- Hawthorne Bridge - A four lane bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Opened in 1910, it is the oldest operating vertical lift bridge in the United States.
- Main Street Bridge - A four-lane bridge over the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.
- Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge - crosses Rockaway Inlet between Brooklyn and Queens, New York; designed in 1937 by David Steinman.
- Murray Morgan Bridge - Steel lift bridge in Tacoma, Washington. Notable for its height above water, sloping span and overhead span to carry a water pipe. Closed October 23rd, 2007.
- Park Avenue Bridge - 160m span in New York City, replaced a swing bridge in 1960.
- Portage Lake Lift Bridge - A bridge which connects the Michigan cities of Hancock and Houghton
- Sarah Mildred Long Bridge and Memorial Bridge - Two lift bridges (out of 3 bridges) over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.
- Stillwater Bridge - A highway bridge that joins Stillwater, Minnesota with Houlton, Wisconsin over the St. Croix River.
- St. Paul Union Pacific Vertical-lift Rail Bridge - A single-track railroad bridge in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota over the Mississippi River.
- Steel Bridge - A double-lift bridge in Portland, Oregon over the Willamette River. Its bottom deck carries railroad tracks and a bike lane and can be lifted independently of the upper deck with a road and light rail tracks. It is the only double-deck bridge with independent lifts in the world.
- Tower Bridge - A four-lane bridge over the Sacramento River connecting Sacramento and West Sacramento, California.
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