How Do Temporary Bridges Keep Traffic Flowing?
There are many situations in bridge building where it’s not possible to close the existing route or provide a detour for the public while the bridge is under construction. This may be the case if the bridge is located on a dead-end road and is therefore the only way to access the homes or businesses on the other side. Another possibility is if the nearest alternate bridge is dozens of miles away, making a detour impractical. Finally, if the bridge construction is taking place on a major highway, it may be impossible to divert such large volumes of traffic. No matter the situation, temporary bridges can be used to keep traffic flowing during bridge construction, both for vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic.
What is a Temporary Bridge?
Temporary bridges are prefabricated bridges made of beams and platforms that can be installed on a range of job sites, from large overpasses to smaller box girder structures. The larger temporary bridge models typically measure between one and three meters wide and four to 24 meters long. The main purpose of temporary bridges is to create a passageway for vehicles, pedestrians, and heavy equipment during construction, often to reroute the flow of traffic while segments of a permanent bridge are out of service. As the name suggests, temporary bridges are not meant for long-term use, but rather function as a makeshift route during short-term applications. Temporary bridges can be uninstalled from one project and reused on another once a project is complete.
During bridge building, temporary bridges can be installed adjacent to the existing bridge, which allows for convenient, streamlined rerouting. When the new bridge is completed, the temporary bridge is removed. In this way, the flow of traffic can remain undisrupted.
What are the Most Popular Types of Temporary Bridge?
There are three main bridge manufacturers: Acrow, Mabey and Bailey Bridges.
Acrow is a brand that makes temporary modular bridges for use on excavation, construction and drilling sites. The bridges are used to divert traffic around worksites and to enable access for heavy equipment, workers, and vehicles. Rather than offering multiple types of bridge configurations, Acrow’s modular bridge system creates temporary and permanent bridges, lift bridges, detour bridges, extractive bridges, pedestrian bridges, and more.
Mabey is a temporary bridge brand that makes several types of temporary site access bridges, though each of their styles can be made permanent with modifications. Such types include the Mabey Compact 200, the Mabey Atlas Bridge, and the Mabey Pedestrian Bridge.
The Bailey Bridge was one of the first ever temporary bridges. It was constructed during World War II and intended for military use. It’s designed so that each of the bridge’s parts, such as the wood and steel, would be small and light enough to carry by truck and place by hand.
What are the Benefits of Temporary Bridges?
Temporary bridges are ideal when accelerated bridge construction is required. The total time it takes to install a temporary bridge depends upon the size of the bridge and the layout of the installation site. Smaller bridges can sometimes be installed by a single person; larger bridges will require a team and lifting equipment. More complex structures such as the temporary overpass bridge may require more specialized machinery. Either way, since temporary bridges are delivered in prefabricated modules rather than individual parts, it dramatically reduces the time needed to install the bridge.
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