Bridge Abutments

You cannot have a stone arch bridge without the bridge abutments. The abutments are the end supports for the arch(es). Abutments are different from piers. The most obvious difference is that piers are located in the stream, while the abutments are located at the ends of the bridge. However, bridge abutments do more than piers.Continue reading “Bridge Abutments”

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”

The WPA Stone Arch Bridges

In the 1930s, the WPA was responsible for building numerous structures as works projects during the Great Depression. This gave employment to people out of work, who in turn built a wide array of structures including band shells, picnic areas…and stone arch bridges. While the WPA did not always build their bridges with stone, theyContinue reading “The WPA Stone Arch Bridges”

The Challenge of Long-Span Arch Bridges

Building long-span arch bridges has always been a challenge with which many builders have been fascinated. It is all fine and well to use multiple relatively small arches and piers to create a long bridge, but the challenge of setting a record span, understandably, seems to have had its appeal to some builders. There areContinue reading “The Challenge of Long-Span Arch Bridges”

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”

Building Mortarless Bridges

Mortarless bridges are more challenging to build than standard, mortared bridges. The Advantages of Mortared Masonry Mortared masonry is more forgiving then mortarless stonework — the mortar fills in the gaps between stones, forming custom-shaped stones that perfectly fit into the joints. This makes the mortared masonry very strong. Well-built mortared masonry also effectively sealsContinue reading “Building Mortarless Bridges”

DIY Arch Building

While building the arch of a stone arch bridge is the most challenging part the project, it actually is not as difficult as it looks. There are several simple tricks that make the construction easier. Thin Stones Mean Easier Arc Creation As mentioned in our article on turning the arch, the use of thin stonesContinue reading “DIY Arch Building”

Stone Arch Bridges: The Concept Explained

Stone arches have long been used for spanning gaps throughout the world. Their permanence has been testified to and evidenced by the surprising number of Roman and Medieval stone arch bridges still in use. But how do these bridges work? How do you span a gap with stone? The Slab Method The simple and mostContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridges: The Concept Explained”