The structural elements of reinforcement bridges are divided into two main categories of the bridge structure which are Substructure and Superstructure. Each component has its own importancein the bridge structure. Let’s study the components of the bridge from Bottom to Top.
The substructure is the part of the bridge under the superstructure. The substructure includes the lower part of the bridge such as Piles, piles caps, Abutments etc. which are responsible for transfers the above loads toward the soil.
Foundation is the most important part of the bridge because the foundation transmits the loads to the bearing strata of the soil. According to different soil condition and type of bridge is going to constructed different foundation type is used such as bore pile, pipe pile, H-pile and precast concrete piles are to be used.
The pile of the bridge is a type of foundation structure in which long poles are constructed with concrete, Steel and sometimes wood, The pile of the bridges hammered into the soft soils over bridge is going to constructed toward the beneath of the soil until the pile reach the hard layer of the earth such as rock or hard soil.
The pile cap is a thick RCC concrete slab which cast on piles that harmed into the soft soil to toward hard soil. The main function of the pile cape was to provide a stable foundation and distribute the loads to the pile. It is a part of the foundation of the bridge.
The Abutments is the endpoint of the bridge span. The abutments are constructed with reinforced concrete or sometimes with stones. They are responsible to encounters the intense lateral pressures develop by the earth fill and support the weight of the bridge.
The Superstructure is the below portion of the bridge deck slabs over which traffic runs. The superstructure of the bridge is responsible for supports the Girder, Beam and the bridge deck slabs.
The Pier of the bridge supports the bridge span and responsible to transfer the above loads toward the superstructure (Foundation). The piers should be enough strong to bear all vertical, horizontal, Axial loads, Bi-axial moments and shear forces develop in the transverse and longitudinal direction.
Pier cap is the upper-top and bearing part of a bridge. The pier is constructed with concrete or sometimes to hard stone. The main function of the pier is to distribute the concentrated loads developed toward the pier evenly.
RCC BEAM OR GIRDER:
The girder is one of the most important main structural element of the bridge because girder connects all the Piles beams together. The girder is usually constructed with reinforced concrete and sometimes with metals. The girder is responsible and helps to support the deck slab of the bridge.
A bridge deck slab is also called roadway. The bridge deck slab is the top portion of the beam or girder over which all traffic and pedestrian movement.