The stone arch bridge is a rather novel structure in the line of bridges. At a glance, it seems almost impossible that an arch, made of many discrete stones, could possibly stand, let alone support weight, yet that they do is entirely undeniable. Compression One more picturesque explanation of why an arch stands is that […]Read More How a Stone Arch Bridge Supports Weight
When building a stone arch bridge, the question sometimes arises as to how many arches are needed. In some cases the answer is obvious; for instance, a small gap begs for only one arch. But there are times when multiple arches are advantageous, despite the fact that a pier in the waterway is required. First, […]Read More Stone Arch Bridges: Spans and How Many?
It is often desired to build a stone arch bridge. Such a structure is scenic and, of course, lends a fine touch to landscaping. The question is how do you go about doing it? We have provided this short guide as a very general rule of thumb; the details of your construction will vary. We’ve […]Read More Building a Stone Arch Bridge
The Esch’s Spur Bridge (called Kirk Bridge on the plaque) is a well-known triple-arch bridge outside Dexter, Cowley, Kansas, that is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Built in 1913 by Walter Sharp, this bridge has spanned Grouse Creek for over a century. Arguably the most renowned of the Cowley bridges, it is […]Read More The Esch’s Spur Bridge
When building bridges, it is always necessary to take into account the hydraulic effects of the structure. Piers in a river, for instance, always cause interesting water-related phenomena. Not only is a pier vulnerable to being undermined by the action of water, a pier can obstruct trees and other floating objects in the river until […]Read More The Hydraulic Properties of Stone Arch Bridges
There is still a great urge to build stone arch bridges. Not, perhaps, on the massive scale of old, but as attractive, durable footbridges over small streams. When done right, the results are quite rewarding, and the building process itself can be enjoyable. Furthermore, a stone arch bridge should need but little maintenance, especially compared […]Read More Building Stone Arch Bridges: Arch Thickness
Traditionally, the choice of the stone used in stone bridges was primarily a reflection on what was locally available. Geological Variances In New England, there are many stunning stone arch bridges made out of the locally available granite boulders. These structures attest to the ingenuity of the masons who were able to create lasting […]Read More The Choice of Stone for Stone Arch Bridges
Arguably the most difficult part of building a stone arch bridge is “turning the arch.” This phrase simply refers to keeping the correct angle on each individual stone so that the arch goes in a circle — not as easy, perhaps, as one might think. The Gothic Arch To begin with, some arch shapes are […]Read More Stone Arch Bridges: Methods of “Turning the Arch”
Many of the old stone arch bridges around the world have names which, after a fashion, tell a tale of the history of the structure and, sometimes, the area around it. Others have obvious names that are not particularly informative, beyond, perhaps, what body of water the bridge is spanning. In Kansas, many of the […]Read More What’s in a Name?
The foundations of a stone arch bridge are the single most important factor in determining the life of the bridge. If the foundations are good, the bridge can last for centuries — or even a millennium! If the foundations are bad, the bridge may last but a few years, or even a few months. Failure […]Read More Stone Arch Bridges: Foundations