Warren Truss Bridge Advantages and Disadvantages

warren truss bridge

A Warren Truss Bridge is an important structure, and the warren truss bridge design is commonly used in bridge construction because it will carry a tremendous load. It was invented by James Warren and is now commonly used today.

History of the Truss Bridge

Alfred Neville of France patented the Warren Truss Bridge and also built the first bridge in the mid 19th century. It began its use in Britain and Europe in the 19th century and is now used all over the world. It was extensively used in the construction of railway bridges which was the main form of transportation for long distances in that period.

warren truss bridge advantages

Advantages of Utilizing a Warren Truss Bridge

First and foremost the design has an interior railing which is connected to the diagonal span which prevents people from falling down from the edge of a bridge.

The truss utilizes Newton’s laws of motion especially statics that forms an important part of the laws. The straight components meet at pin joints and the components of the truss will be involved in tension or compression.

A bridge built using this design is very strong due to the use of triangles. The triangles are ridged which contributes to the strength of the structure.

A Warren truss bridge enables the distribution of forces in a number of ways. This has brought about a large variety in the ways a bridge can be built. You will find bridges in different designs all over the world.

This type of bridge optimizes the use of labor and machinery. Costs of material can also be less since the design makes the maximum use of materials.

Depending on the purpose, the design can be used to improve the appearance of a structure and enhance its attractivemess to suit its surroundings.

The truss design is highly adaptable to modern engineering techniques. Prestressed concrete and various methods of fabrication can be used with it. Welding can also be automated using this design.

You can easily get far greater strength with this design than other designs being used for bridges. Engineers have reported the use of much less material in the construction of bridges using the truss design.

The span which is the distance between the end points has been found to be greater than with other designs especially with single beam designs.

The main reason that it became very popular in the 19th century was because it is very easy to maintain with very few defects. It is also simple to repair and does not cost muck of labor or man hours.

You can build a truss and then use it to make a bridge hence making it very useful for roads and railway bridges.

Disadvantages of a Warren Truss Bridge

Bridges with this type of structure are old and outdated now. Engineers are looking at ways to add to the structures in order to increase their safety.

If not designed in the correct manner it can cause a lot of wastage in terms of material because there can be members in the design that do not contribute in any way to the overall structure.

Some designs that were used were found to be not suitable for the purpose for which it was built. For example the bowstring truss design was not durable enough and was used to make the Pratt design which found a place amongst engineering projects.

Earlier wrought iron was used and it gave way to steel which began to be used extensively in truss designs. But with the rising costs of steel many states in the US prefer concrete girder and beam bridges and truss bridges have become less common.

It can use a lot of space and tends to become a distraction to drivers.