What Are Some Arch Bridge Facts?

Some facts about the arch bridge include its architect and the age of the oldest arch bridges. In architecture, the arch bridge design has been used for over 2,000 years and can be found in Roman, Baroque and Renaissance structures.

The oldest stone segmental arch bridge is the Anji Bridge, commonly known as the Zhaozhou Bridge, which is found in China. The bridge was initially constructed in 605 AD and, as of 2015, has survived over 1400 years.

The arch bridge design was also commonly used for bridges and in aqueducts during the Roman era.

An arch bridge that is constructed from stone does not require mortar in its construction. However, this means that additional support systems or scaffoldings are necessary during the construction process. Two separate segments of an arch structure do not have structural integrity on their own. The structural strength of the arch design is generated when both sections meet in the middle, allowing force to dissipate outwards.

Materials used in modern arch bridges include pre-stressed concrete and steel. The strength of modern materials allows for larger arches when compared to Roman stone arch bridges. Arches found in modern bridges can span from 200 to 800 feet.