Monday, March 2, 2009

Arch Bridges: The Pattullo Bridge

The four-lane, Pattullo Bridge (named after a British Columbia premier) is a heavily travelled through arch bridge over the Fraser River southeast of Vancouver.   It's similar to the Grand Island Bridges on the Niagara River: a truss bridge that changes to a suspended-deck arch over the shipping channel. However, instead of being supported by concrete caissons, the Pattullo Bridge is supported on two-column bents.

It was built in 1937, has a number of problems, and is expected to be replaced in a few years. Its narrow lanes, lack of a median barrier, and large daily traffic (80,000 vehicles) has contributed to a number of head-on collisions.  It was closed due to arson in January, but was reopened a week later by reusing some bridge falsework (Buckland and Taylor found a steel-concrete composite structure in a construction yard) to fill the 60 ft (18 m) gap.

These old truss arch bridges will most likely disappear from the landscape in another 20 years.
Creative Commons License
Arch Bridges: Pattullo Bridge by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

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