Brigidine College
Library Pathfinder



Year 11 – Bridges

Vocabulary for bridges


Britannica provides access to encyclopedia articles, video and audio clips, learning and teaching materials.
Encyclopedia Britannica (external entry)
The password required is the same as the password to access the Brigidine newsletter.
Ask the Library staff if you do not know this password.

Search terms include: Bridge, suspension bridge, Tacoma, cable-stayed etc.


Example images from Britannica:





Electric Library will give you access to full text magazine and newspaper articles.

Use a phrase such as “Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure” whilst searching.

Interesting articles: Past and future failures, Petroski, Henry American Scientist
Another article:  Disaster Inspires Inventor. An excerpt : “The newly built suspension bridge, which spanned a strait in Washington state, was insufficiently rigid and rippled like a clothesline in the breeze, a phenomenon called aeroelastic flutter”;
Yet another article: November 7 1940 . An excerpt: “It would appear from the meager evidence now available thai the long suspension bridge over the Tacoma Narrows of Puget Sound collapsed for the same reason that the walls of Jericho collapsed under the blasts of Joshua's trumpet. The bridge was "out of tune”

World Wide Web Resources


Types of bridges. There are six basic bridge forms: the beam, the truss, the arch, the suspension, the cantilever, and the cable-stay.

Bridge Basics
engineers have designed three major types of bridges to withstand all forces of nature.

Bridge Basics. Great images and concise information

Bridge Types

Basic Bridge Types. Good illustrations and simple explanations of types

Types of Bridges

Cable-stayed bridges


Cable-stayed bridges


Truss Bridge Design. The history and principles of rational truss bridge design



Suspension bridge

How bridges work – mechanics, physics, mathematics

Major Types of Bridges. Includes materials and construction

Technical information on structures. Shape and forces

Bridge Types
Technical information on structure – i.e. forces

How Bridges work

Physics of bridges. Power point. Norman Kwong

Physics Quest. Bridges
explore the different types of bridges and its characteristics such as the forces that keep them stable and factors that affect its construction

Bridge Construction – principles of technology.  Power Point printouts. Looks at Newton’s law and forces and relates it to bridge building and construction

Mechanics: Bridges. The mathematics and geometry of building bridges

Bridge Designer

Design your own Truss bridge

Tacoma Narrows Bridge information

Some consideration in the design of long span bridges against progressive collapse


Highway in the sky. Refer to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and to the difference between

Suspension and cable-stay bridges

Power point presentation


Oscillations and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure


Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
You Tube

Tacoma Narrows Bridge “Galloping Gertie” collapses November 7 , 1940

Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure. Short but succinct article outlying failure theories

Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse showed engineers and the world the importance of dampening, vertical rigidity, and torsional resistance in all suspension bridges

Collapse of Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Student essay

Scroll down to information on the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Causes of the collapse are explained. There is also footage of the incident

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster. Picture, Video

Resonance, Energy in vibrations

The physics of bridges
A disadvantage to a suspension bridge is its reaction to the wind. This was discovered during the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State. This bridge began resonating with the wind and began to move like a wave in the ocean This bridge was not stiff enough. Although the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was designed to withstand 120 mph winds, it eventually collapsed due to the excessive movements of the bridge during a 40 mph wind which magnified through resonant frequencies.

The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a result of the differences in air pressure above and below the road deck. Similar to the wing of an airplane, the greater wind pressure below the deck and lower wind pressure above caused a lifting of the road. The varying wind speeds along different parts of the deck caused the road to lift and twist.

Brisbane Bridges


Bridges over the Brisbane River

Some of the difficulties engineers and architects face in designing bridges are:

*      the uplift forces of wind. Brisbane is in a cyclone area, and, for tall structures, the wind forces pretty much dominate design decisions;

*      extreme temperature changes, which cause creep and shrinkage;

*      vibration frequency: resonance problems in low-frequency structures




Story Bridge. Queensland Government  - Metal Truss Bridge;jsessionid=7f00000130d8b1e15b3b42b947869ae7a0224eccea08.e34NaN8SbNyKci0LaNmPbhqOaxuOe6fznA5Pp7ftolbGmkTy?siteId=15015


Your Brisbane Past and Present. Story Bridge

Story Bridge


Story Bridge – a detailed profile


About the Gateway


Gateway Bridges

Monkey bar in pioneering use at Gateway
steel reinforcement bar connectors in a world first for civil engineering.

Kurilpa Bridge


Kurilpa Bridge. Baulderstone’s Kurilpa Bridge



Eleanor Schonell Bridge (Green Bridge)
The cable stayed deck is 20m wide, 520m long (main span of 185 m + two back spans of 73 m), with two 70m-high H-shaped reinforced concrete towers in the river and a tie-down pier at end of each back-span.

Goodwill Bridge


Cable stay bridge wins award

The Jack Pesch Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge is a three span cable-stayed structure.

Jack Pesch Bridge

A key feature is the Austress Freyssinet multi-strand cable support system, comprising polyethylene sheathed multi-strand 15.2 milimetre strands enclosed in high density polyethylene protective casings

William Jolly Bridge;jsessionid=7f00000130d59773a90bc81045cb90c49be2f85366dc.e34NaN8SbNyKci0SbNqRch0LaNb0n6jAmljGr5XDqQLvpAe?siteId=16450


William Jolly Bridge



Hale Street Link

Victoria Bridge

Bridge Projects world wide construction of bridges. May be useful

Captain Cook Bridge riddled with holes,23739,22258655-952,00.html

Detailed investigation shows Captain Cook Bridge safe

Indooroopilly Toll Bridge


Albert Bridge;jsessionid=7f00000130d6cc5156b46ef3467ea901e7da2f699e52.e34NaN8SbNyKci0OaNaNaxeQb3n0n6jAmljGr5XDqQLvpAe?siteId=15007


Walter Taylor Bridge

Try your skills


Build a bridge