Types Of Bridges As Per Different Criteria

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Bridges can be classified as various types depending upon the following factors.

Types Of Bridges As Nature Of Superstructure Action

Bridges may be classified under this category as per follows:

Portal Frame Bridges

Truss Bridge

They are ideally suited for railway bridges. A truss is a structure made up of steel struts.

Balanced cantilever bridges

These bridges have decks divided into several suspended parts, simply supported or cantilever. These types of bridges can be designed as determinate structures.

Suspension bridges

This type of bridge is ideally suited for a very long span. The deck is suspended with cables in the suspension bridge. These cables are made from very high-strength material.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is a beautiful suspension bridge located in Japan

Cable-stayed bridges

In the past few decades, cable-stayed bridges become popular over suspension bridges due to their lower cost. They are aesthetically superior and also cost lower than suspension bridges for a long span and very long span.
Russky bridge is a Modern Cable stay bridge located in Russia. Russky bridge is opened in 2012 and is at Vladivostoc.

Types Of Bridges As Per Material Used for Construction

Under this category, bridges may be classified as

Timber bridges

Masonry bridges

Steel bridges

Reinforced cement concrete bridges

Pre-Stressed Concrete Bridges

composite Bridges

Types Of Bridges As Per Alignment

Straight bridge

When a bridge is constructed at the right angle to the water flow and makes a right angle with river banks it is called a straight bridge. Straight bridge is often constructed to provide possible shortest distance between two places.

Skewed Bridge

When it is not possible to construct a bridge at the right angle to the river banks and the bridge makes an angle other than the right angle with the water flow it is called a skewed bridge. 

This may be because of firm abutments construction is not possible at river bank.

According to the location of the bridge floor

Bridges could be classified as follows.

Deck bridge

Semi-trough bridge

Trough bridge

Types Of Bridges Based On The Purpose

As per purpose bridges are of following types.



Highway Bridge

Railway bridge


These are also known as pedestrian bridges or pedestrian overpasses. These are designed to carry only pedestrians.

Types Of Bridges Based On Position Of High Flood Level

Under this category, bridges could be divided into the following categories

Submersible Bridges

These types of bridges got submerged during the high flood level and become non-usable. During normal days this type of bridges are usable for vehicles.

Non-Submersible Bridges

Types Of Bridges Span Length

Under this category, bridges could be classified as


It is a small bridge having a span of 6 meters or less.

Minor Bridges

Major Bridges

Long Span Bridges

Types Of Bridges As Per Degree Of Redundancy

Determinate beam bridges

Indeterminate beam

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Relevent Downloads
IRC:6-2017 [Loads and Load Combinations] PDF Download
IRC 112-2011 Code Of Practice For Concrete Rode Bridges [PDF Download]
IRC 5-2015 [PDF download]

External Resources For Bridge Engineers

Indian Institute Of Bridge Engineers

Bridge Engineers Association – America


Which is the longest cable stayed bridge in world?

Russky bridge located in Vladivostok, Russia is the longest cable stayed bridge in world having span of 1104 meters.

Which is the longest suspension bridge in the world?

Akashi Kaikyo bridge in Japan is the world’s longest suspension bridge having span of 1991 meters.