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Bridges are intricate structures that take time and effort
in order to build one. If you make a mistake in design and do not realize it then
when you make a model bridge, that error you made in design will cause a huge
issue when testing whether or not the model will hold up an efficient weight.
For instance if a designer of a bridge designs pillars for a bridge that are
meant to stay on land and can’t endure water, but his bridge is over water then
he has most certainly made a crucial mistake. When he makes his model of the
bridge it may hold up the weight it’s supposed to and work fine, but when
because he overlooked the fact that his pillars won’t stand up well in water. Then
when it comes time for construction to take place the bridge, it will fail and
thousands of dollars would have been wasted all because of that one key mistake
in the planning and design of the bridge. When it comes to designing a bridge
there many factors to take in mind first being the bridge type. It would make
sense logically to make a truss bridge in an area where there are usually
earthquakes and large winds rather than in an area where it is generally calm
because a truss bridge has advantages that others do not (Lewis, n.d.). A truss
bridge’s advantages include the ability to support/resist lateral loads and
prevent twisting and swaying during earthquakes and high winds, in addition, it
also resists forces of compression and tension (Lewis, n.d.). After verifying,
that the bridge type selected will work the best out of the others and has the
most benefits noticeably compared to the other bridge types. The designer of
the bridge also must make thorough tests to discover the physics of the bridge
and how much weight/force it can sustain. The formula used is W = 500 LN/N-1 +
12N + 36, W meaning the gross weight of two+ axles; L meaning distance in feet
between outer axles; and N meaning the number of axles in the group (“Bridge
Formula,” n.d.). After finding, the weights that will be on the bridge the
designer must calculate different loads included with his bridge, this includes
Dead load, Live load, and Dynamic Load (Dickinson, 2017). The dead load is the entire
bridge and what it weighs, that being said it mainly includes the weight of the
materials put into the bridge as a whole (Dickinson, 2017). Live load is the
moving weight of the bridge (traffic) (Dickinson, 2017). The dynamic load
includes all outside force such as weather: wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail,
snow, etc. and the environment around the bridge (Dickinson, 2017). All of
those loads need to be calculated so the designer can adjust his bridge to fit
its environment and be ready for anything, there is no point in designing a
bridge if it cannot do its job. If the loads are not calculated, that can lead
to severe consequences such as bridge failure/malfunction in its job and how it
works. If you build a bridge that can withstand 60mph wind speeds and then a
hurricane occurs and has 120 mph wind speeds, then the bridge will eventually
collapse. If that bridge collapse that means many lives will be cost and the
money; time, effort put into the bridge will be wasted. Overall, there is no point
in designing a bridge if it is being set up for failure. In conclusion, there
are steps needed in order to formulate a good efficient bridge that will last
many generations. A designer must calculate loads of the bridge, use the
planning process of a bridge, conduct experiments with models, refer to bridge
and vehicle restrictions, and take in account the materials that are best and
are used in making the bridge itself (“New Vehicle,” n.d.).

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