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Old 12/17/03, 11:34 AM
mysticokra's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Estillfork, Alabama
Posts: 329
[BUILDING] Building an arched bridge

I would like to build an arched bridge over our stream. I need to span about 20 feet and think a rise of about 2-3 feet would be sufficient. Has anyone seen plans on how to do this?

Old 12/17/03, 11:42 AM
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Something of that span would probably have to be engineered.What sort of load would it carry?- what material are you planning on using to construct it?I built a small footpath bridge over a winter creek-I just built a form and poured concrete over reinforcing rod.20' is quite a span if you are using stone or concrete, and something like that would require engineering, I'm sure, simply because of the weight alone.I think in the old days, they cut stone to fit.
Old 12/17/03, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,373
An arched bridge is much more difficult to build than a regular bridge. Something that would be fairly simple, and very slightly arched: get an old, big, flatbed trailer. Take off everything that doesn't look like a bridge. Attach to concrete piers at each corner.

Why do you need an arch?
Old 12/17/03, 11:54 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 678
This site has information on building bridges on site, but I don't know if you want a 'foot traffic' or vehicular traffic bridge. It is a International Peace Corp type of organization, who service clients in extreme primative conditions - maybe you can find your information here. I own their VITA handbook - it is great.

SteveD's idea sounds very good, if the road to your site is trailer friendly all the way. Shouldn't be much trouble for a big rig to drive it there, unhook and split. If you are worried about having to drop bridge, why not ramp both ends up to it and go from there.

Good luck with your bridge. Also do a search on this site - I seem to remember within the past year, someone asking about a suspension bridge for foot traffic and someone had a post with a great site for it.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Old 12/17/03, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: WV
Posts: 529
Steve D has it right. A friend of mine had a bridge built at the cost of $64,000.00
He later found he could have used an old trailer and done it all (with help from friends) for about $9,000.00
Old 12/17/03, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Estillfork, Alabama
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Sorry, I should have been more specific.

This bridge will be for foot traffic.. and maybe a riding mower. I plan to build it out of wood. It's an aesthetic delight as much as a functional device.

It's the curve in the support structure that I could use some direction on. I suppose I could build laminated beams that attach to sunken posts. That's why a set of plans would be helpful.

Here's a picture of the basic idea. [BUILDING]  Building an arched bridge - How-To Threads of the past
Old 12/17/03, 03:46 PM
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If you look at the picture carefully, the bridge isn't really arched. It looks like they simply cut the supporting beams to give the impression of an arch.

Old 12/17/03, 04:24 PM
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Location: Southern Ontario CANADA
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How about a rope or cable bridge? You could still cover it with wood... and it may be a whole lot easier to build and move.

I doubt I'd go with 30' glu-lam arched beams... 30' straight steel beams which spanned the stream... and just "attach" your wood arched bridge to them. Obviously, the steel beams do not have to be visable.

Cheers from Southern Ontario CANADA!
Old 12/17/03, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 5,373
LOTS of free and cheap plans on the net. Here's one site:
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