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The Pontoon Bridge Design

Number of visits: Date:2014-10-20 14:28

The Pontoon Bridge Design                                                                                                                                                                       

When designing a pontoon bridge, the engineer must take into consideration the maximum amount of load that it is intended to support.

Each pontoon can support a load equal to the mass of the water that it displaces, but this load also includes the mass of the bridge itself.

If the maximum load of a bridge section is exceeded, one or more pontoons become submerged and will proceed to sink. The roadway

across the pontoons must also be able to support the load, yet be light enough not to limit their carrying capacity.


Prior to the advent of modern military pontoon bridge-building equipment, floating bridges were typically constructed using wood. Such a

wooden floating bridge could be built in a series of sections, starting from an anchored point on the shore. Pontoons were formed using

boats; several barrels lashed together; rafts of timbers, or some combination of these. Each bridge section consisted of one or more

pontoons, which were maneuvered into position and then anchored. These pontoons were then linked together using wooden stringers

called balks. The balks were then covered by a series of cross planks called chesses to form a road surface, and the chesses were held

in place with side guard rails. The bridge was repeatedly extended in this manner until the opposite bank was reached.


Precautions are needed to protect a pontoon bridge from becoming damaged. The bridge can be dislodged or inundated whenever the load

limit of the bridge is exceeded. A pontoon bridge can also become overloaded when one section of the bridge is weighted down much more

heavily than the other parts. The bridge can be induced to sway or oscillate in a hazardous manner because of the regular stride of a group

of soldiers, or from other types of repeated loads. Drift and heavy floating objects can also accumulate on the pontoons, increasing the drag

from river current and potentially damaging the bridge.

TypeInfo: Julong News

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