Beam Bridges

(also known as girder bridges)

[Pedestrians - yes, road - yes, rail - yes]

Beam bridges are the simplest type of bridge. The first bridges would probably be just a fallen tree trunk. Single slabs of stone are also simple beam bridges and are called clam bridges.

Clam Bridge, Wycoller, Lancashire

Where the river was too wide to be spanned by one stone slab, piles of stones (called piers) were built to support more slabs. These are clapper bridges.

Clapper bridge near Troutbeck in Cumbria.

Advantages of beam bridges

A typical railway bridge constructed from wrought iron. This one at Waterloo, London

Disadvantages of beam bridges:

Typical motorway beam bridge constructed from steel and concrete. This one carries the B6231 over the M65 in Lancashire.


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