Types Of Bridges As Per Different Criteria

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

Classification 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

Nature of superstructure action

Bridges may be classified under this category as per follows:

Portal frame bridge

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 suspension bridge-japan

Cable-stayed bridges

In the past few decades, cable-stayed bridges become popular over suspension bridges due to lower cost. They are aesthetically superior and also costs lower than suspension bridges for a long span and very long span.
Millau cable stay bridge-France

As per alignment

Straight bridge

Skewed bridge

According to the location of the bridge floor

Bridges could be classified as follows.

Deck bridge

Semi-trough bridge

Trough bridge

Classification based on the purpose

As per purpose bridges are of following types



Highway bridge

Railway bridge


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

Classification according to span length

Under this category, bridges could be classified as


Minor bridges

Major bridges

Long span bridges

Classification as per Degree of redundancy

Determinate beam bridges

Indeterminate beam

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