Bridge and viaduct serve the same purpose. But there are many opinions in terms of their similarities and differences. There are those who say that viaducts are bridges, and those who say that bridges serve as viaducts. We can learn the differences between the bridge and the viaduct in line with some facts.
According to a different view; Each viaduct is called a bridge, but it states that the bridge is not a viaduct either. In fact, the most basic difference between bridge and viaduct; While the bridge is built to overcome physical obstacles, the viaduct is seen as a type of bridge that crosses a valley or pass.
If we talk about the differences between the bridge and the viaduct;
While bridges are built on land and waterways in order to facilitate transitions; viaducts are generally used for rail transport within the same terrain, but this may not always be the case.
Viaducts have one or more arches. Apart from these arches, there are also intermediate supports. There are many types of bridges and it is not necessary to have intermediate supports or arches.
Viaducts are less costly to build. Their size may sometimes not allow the passage of large ships. It can be of a size and length to be used to connect two islands. It can also be high enough to allow any ship to sail underneath it as well.
In order to gain clarity on this issue, it is necessary to know the definitions on two separate structures.
What is a Bridge?
The bridge is built to overcome physical obstacles without blocking the roads made in the lower parts such as water body, valley or road to provide passage over obstacles. There are different designs within the bridges, each of which is built for separate purposes. The construction of these structures varies depending on the nature of the land where the bridge is anchored to the place where the bridge will be built, the material used to build it, and the funds to be used during its construction.
There are 6 basic bridge types as a structure. These;
Beam Bridges: They are built on horizontal bridge beams supported by abutments at each end.
Arch Bridges: There are abutments on both ends. Support is provided by the structure on both networks.
Cantilever Bridges: They are formed by horizontal beams supported only from one side.
Suspension Bridges: They use suspension cables.
Cable Bridges: Although they are like suspension bridges, they differ in the way that less cables are used. Towers used to hold cables are shorter than suspension bridges.
Lattice Bridges: These are the bridges that are made by using straight connection elements.
Bridges; They are classified according to how tensile, torsion, compression, shear and bending forces are distributed with the bridge structure. Some of these forces are dominated by other bridges. Other forces are also active. For example, the voltage situation is very important in a suspension bridge.
A viaduct is a type of bridge made with multiple small intervals. It has arches formed in the form of a series. All belts are almost the same length. Viaducts, which are also installed on water and land, are generally made to connect two points with similar heights when built on land. The viaduct, which connects the roads, opposed the difficult geographical structures and its history dates back to the 19th century.
It is also used more in centers formed on the railway. It is more used in shadows like London, Chicago, Birmingham.
When it is built on water, other tunnels and bridges should be combined. It includes less cost than bridges and tunnels with large land structure.
Why Use a Viaduct Instead of a Bridge?
Viaducts, which are used instead of bridges, generally prevent the road from being a winding road. In addition, it reduces traffic and time loss. It is generally built on highways or to regulate railway flow.
While the viaducts used instead of bridges are more profitable in terms of cost, they are more preferred as they are structures used both on land and on water to facilitate bridge crossings. While bridges are used for smaller structures, viaducts are seen as more comprehensive and more useful.