Concrete is the most important raw material for construction. It is the most used construction material when it comes to constructing bridges. Due to the many advantages that concrete offers compared to other construction materials, it is always the first choice in constructing bridges. Concrete is durable, versatile, and powerful. it has great strength in compression. The basic components of concrete are water and aggregates therefore it is highly inexpensive.
The idea of building concrete bridges came from Romans in the last century using Reinforced Concrete in construction. In the mid of the last century, the United States developed the application of prestressing to bridges. This has grown rapidly and steadily in old times. Prestressing has also played an important role in extending the span capability of concrete bridges. The United States also started to build segmented concrete bridges.
Concrete bridges give a high level of compressive strength and a greater level of durability when compared to any other construction material. Due to its popularity and outstanding properties, it is the most used construction material in the world.
The properties of the concrete in the building provide a sufficient solution to most of the designs combining architectural effects with structural capacity. These properties are highlighted below and are truly distinguishable from other construction materials.
Concrete is economical as it reduced the initial construction costs, lowers maintenance is needed, and cuts the inspection costs. Concrete is known for its high durability. The value of concrete is repeatedly recognized in competitive bidding situations. This is an important factor in choosing concrete for building bridges. Concrete bridges are aesthetics, dynamic, graceful, long-span bridges often become symbols of a city, a tourist attraction, which encourages economic development.
Concrete is versatile in beauty and design, energy-efficient, and can provide high structural performance. It needs minimal maintenance and it is also fire resistant. It achieves high thermal performance and low air infiltration. Its density provides economical and efficient sound control.
Concrete bridges are more environmentally friendly as the reduced heating and cooling loads result in a significant reduction in CO2 production and increase the sustainability of the structure. The concrete structure is very strong and is resistant to earthquakes and thunderstorms with powerful winds. The strength and integrity of concrete enable the designer to achieve results beyond the desires. Concrete bridges are developed everywhere in the world and in many places they are the symbol of the city due to their beauty and versatility.