Categories
Maintenance

On Spandrel Walls

One of the important parts of a stone arch bridge is the spandrel walls. The spandrel is the part of the bridge that is built up over the arch to form a reasonable roadbed grade. Unlike the approach, the spandrel walls are located over the arch. Except for a very flat arch, something must be […]

Categories
Maintenance

Repair of Partially Collapsed Arches

Can a partially collapsed stone arch be repaired? While presenting a somewhat of a challenge, this sort of damage to a stone bridge is, nevertheless, reparable, as proved by the case of Ireland’s Avoca Village Bridge.1 The Avoca Village Bridge consists of several true semi-elliptical arches built with precision-cut stones. In August 1986, a series […]

Categories
Maintenance

Stone Arch Bridge Maintenance

Part of the historical appeal of stone arch bridges was the fact that they needed but little maintenance. After all, stone does not rot out or need painted. Stone bridges also are substantially heavier than iron or wooden bridges, which meant that, whereas in major floods wooden bridges would set sail downstream and iron bridges […]

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History

Andes Bridge

The Andes Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is one of four double-arch bridges in Cowley County, Kansas. (The others include the Neer, Rock Creek, and the Fromm bridges—the smaller west arch of the Fromm Bridge was buried by the county to prevent collapse.) In 1909, Walter Sharp built the […]

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Construction

Segmental Arches

Segmental arches are arches with an arc less than a 180-degree Roman arch. They seem to have been popular primarily in the 1700s and 1800s, although they were occasionally built in medieval times — rarely even by the Romans.   What is a Segmental Arch Bridge? The term “segmental arch” is rather a loose; technically […]

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Construction

On Roman Arches

The Roman arch, consisting of one half of a circle, is the typical rounded arch often seen with stone bridges. The Roman arch need not have a thick abutment to resist a horizontal thrust; rather, they start (“spring”) on a flat, horizontal plane. This makes them very easy to build, which is always an advantage […]

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History

Another Lesser-Known Stone Arch Bridge: Whitewater River Bridge

A bridge to add to our lesser-known stone arch bridge list is found in Butler County, Kansas. In Plum Grove Township, about 3 ½ miles north of Potwin, there is a peculiar little stone arch bridge over the Whitewater River on NW 155th Street. Located about ½ mile west of the 115th–Buffalo Road intersection, this […]

Categories
Construction

Building Stone Arch Bridges: Masonry Basics

For the DIY enthusiast, building a stone bridge is a great project. Building with stone is actually is not so very hard once one acquires the knack; practice makes perfect. The best way to learn masonry is to do it. All you need to know are some masonry basics, and then you are ready to […]