Widening a Stone Arch Bridge

Stone bridges are, historically, built to a rather narrow width. While suitable for the horse-drawn traffic they were often designed for, narrow stone bridges can pose a bit of a problem in modern vehicle applications. Rather than demolish an existing stone bridge, widening the bridge can prove a helpful alternative. Widening a stone arch bridgeContinue reading “Widening a Stone Arch Bridge”

Waterline Deterioration: The Achilles Heel of Limestone Bridges

Stone arch bridges made of limestone suffer greatly from deterioration of the stonework at the waterline. Limestone is a soft, sedimentary rock that is always a favorite with stone masons. It is reasonably hard, reasonably easy to shape, and is usually enduring. However, one of its worst faults is that it deteriorates easily in water.Continue reading “Waterline Deterioration: The Achilles Heel of Limestone Bridges”

Wingwalls: Importance and Repair

Many stone arch bridges were designed with wingwalls. The wingwalls are essentially retaining walls that keep the soil along the stream from slumping into the stream. Obviously, having the soil slump into the stream is undesirable, as it can make a wreck of the road. However, for some stone bridges, the stone walls that formContinue reading “Wingwalls: Importance and Repair”

Deteriorated Stones in a Bridge

Sometimes, a stone arch bridge will show significantly deteriorated stones. If the deterioration is manifest throughout the bridge, it can be a rather tricky problem to deal with — the stones make up the entire fabric of the structure. Unless a significant impact broke the stones, deteriorated stonework is almost always a sign of waterContinue reading “Deteriorated Stones in a Bridge”

Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 2

So how do you restore a stone arch bridge? In Part 1, using Pudden Bridge (Esch’s Spur Bridge) in Cowley County, Kansas, as our hypothetical example, we concluded that the partial demise of this massive structure’s middle arch was likely caused by breaking stones and deteriorating mortar joints. So now we will use this informationContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 2”

Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 1

Restoring a stone arch bridge can sometimes be something of a challenge. Often the results are worth the effort. Restoring a stone arch bridge may even cost less than replacing the bridge. The question is how do you restore a badly damaged bridge?   Pudden Bridge Example Let’s look at Pudden Bridge as an exampleContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridge Restoration and Pudden Bridge: Part 1”

A Stone Arch Bridge’s Weight-Handling Abilities

What factors determine the weight limit of a stone arch bridge? Arch Ring Thickness The primary factor in the weight limit of a stone bridge is how thick the arch is. Simply, the thicker the arch, the more weight a stone arch bridge can hold. Of course, there is a little more to it thanContinue reading “A Stone Arch Bridge’s Weight-Handling Abilities”

The Life of a Stone Arch Bridge

Studying stone arch bridges that have been built using different construction methods reveals some interesting facts. Basically, the life of a stone arch bridge is directly related to how exactly the arch was built. Obviously, for any structure to last at all the foundations must be solid; but, that aside, how much of a roleContinue reading “The Life of a Stone Arch Bridge”