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Pontoon Bridge Introduction & Modern Use

Number of visits: Date:2014-10-20 14:12

Pontoon Bridge                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

A pontoon bridge or floating bridge or bridge of boats is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-likepontoons support 

the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time. 

Permanent floating bridges are useful for sheltered water-crossings where it is not considered economically feasible to suspend a bridge 

from anchored piers. Such bridges can require a section that is elevated, or can be raised or removed, to allow ships to pass.


Pontoon bridges are especially useful in wartime as river crossings. Such bridges are usually temporary, and are sometimes destroyed after 

crossing (to keep the enemy from using them), or collapsed and carried (if on a long march). They were used to great advantage in many 

battles throughout time, including Battle of Garigliano, Battle of Oudenarde, 1973 Arab–Israeli War, and many others.


Pontoon bridges have been in use since ancient times.


Modern use                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Pontoons were extensively used by both the armies and civilians throughout the first half of the 20th century and both World Wars.

The longest military pontoon bridge ever constructed across a river was built in 1995 by the 502nd and 38th Engineer Companies of the US

Army's 130th Engineer Brigade, and the 586th Engineer Company from Ft. Benning GA, as part of IFOR. It was assembled under adverse

weather conditions across the Sava near Županja (between Croatia and Bosnia), and had a total length of 2,034 feet (620 m). It was dismantled

in 1996.


Modern variants of the pontoon bridge are still essential and in use by modern armies. As an example, the American Army has developed a

version dubbed the "Assault Float Ribbon Bridge". It was constructed during combat by the 299th Multi-role Bridge Company, USAR on the

Euphrates River at Objective Peach near Al Musayib on the night of 3 April 2003. "By dawn on 4 April 2003, the 299th Engineer Company

had emplaced a 185-meter long Assault Float Bridge - the first time in history that a bridge of its type was built in combat." This took place

during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by American and British forces. The 185-meter Assault Float Bridge was built to support retrograde opera-

-tions because of the heavy-armor traffic crossing a partially destroyed highway span. That same night, the 299th also constructed a 40-metre

(130 ft) single-story Medium Girder Bridge to patch the damage done to the highway span. The 299th was part of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry

Division as they crossed the border into Iraq on 20 March 2003. Examples of the construction and use of pontoon bridges during combat

operations date back through World War II and earlier.Four of the five longest floating bridges in the world are in Washington State.

TypeInfo: Industry News

Keywords for the information:pontoon bridge  floating bridge  bridge of boats 

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