What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Arch Bridges?

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A major advantage of arch bridges is the fact that they are structurally sound for short spans, while a major disadvantage includes the amount of building materials needed to construct an arch bridge, even if it is of short length. Other advantages of arch bridges include the inexpensive costs of building materials such as stone and brick, and the ability to build more arches to span a wider distance.

Another disadvantage of an arch bridge is that the bridge requires more support from the sides than a normal bridge. An arch bridge must be situated where there are structurally sound banks or abutments in order to help support it.

An arch bridge is aesthetically pleasing, but it can be difficult to find local materials for the construct of the bridge. In modern times, concrete is a popular material to build an arch bridge, however, it is much more costly than stone or brick.

The modern version of the arch bridge is known as the long-span through arch bridge. While not as aesthetically pleasing, it is a structurally sound bridge comprised of lighter materials. It can be made of steel and will cover a longer span. An example of this type of bridge is the Sydney Harbor Bridge that is found in Australia.