The bridges are a fascinating civil structure. Who would have imagined that people would cross their geographical boundaries and discover the sea? Curiosity and imagination have brought people to a whole new world of ideas, and one such idea was making a structure that can float on water. Firstly, the boats were made of reefs and certain grasses, but soon they were replaced by rafts and then the boats.
So in this article, we will discuss a bridge that requires boats and planks for sustaining.
A pontoon bridge is a bridge that uses buoyancy to stay afloat. Till now, you might have heard about various types of bridges ranging from simple walkways to complex floating houses. The major difference between pontoon bridges and other structures is that these pontoon bridges are temporary settlements and can be removed easily.
Pontoon Bridge Working Principle
The tale of Eureka dates back to various centuries when Archimedes discovered the law of buoyancy which changed the human understanding of fluids. Then based on Archimedes’ teachings, Bernoulli stated the Bernoulli theorem, which made it easier to apply buoyancy concepts to the fluids.
So when a body is placed in a water body, it displaces some water, and the weight of the water displaced is equivalent to the object’s weight. When a pontoon bridge is made, boats or hollow barrels are placed as the base for the bridge, so when someone stands on that bridge, a certain weight is applied to the barrel that displaces the water.
With the water displacing the users, the bridge moves down a few centimeters as the weight is uniformly distributed across the bridge. So with this concept and working, it’s very easy to build and use a pontoon bridge efficiently.
The primary uses of these pontoon bridges are in case of emergencies where there is a need for instant transportation, and in such instances, these bridges prove to be quite handy.
For Flood-Prone Areas
There are various bridges prone to floods which make the movement of the people in certain regions vulnerable. So to overcome this issue, users tend to choose the pontoon bridge as the safest and economical way in such areas. These pontoon bridges have a basic structure in which they are placed on a buoyant object which can either be empty barrels.
So people can easily gather wooden planks and keep stocks of barrels, and as there are signs of a flood, they can dismantle the bridge and assemble it again when the flood goes.
This pontoon bridge has been used for centuries before us. Various paintings depict how the elephants and massive armies were supposed to move on such bridges. These planks were supported by many boats lined up in series in those times.
For armies, the water was their primary and time taking reason, so they needed to overcome it to reach the battlefield in time. They could have used boats, but boats are very flowy, and carrying a massive number of boats would increase weight.
So armies came up with the idea and carried a handful of boats placed on the river, and on top of it, people placed wooden planks to provide roads for movement. Even in the Vietnam war, these pontoon bridges were used in wars to send supplies.
Factors To Consider While Constructing Pontoon Bridges
Various factors have to be kept in mind before you plan to build a pontoon bridge, and they are discussed below.
The material of a bridge plays a crucial role that allows the user to determine the bridge’s life. There are various types of wood based on their strength, and it completely depends on your wish which wood you would use. But planks of wood should be covered with waterproof paint as this increases the bridge’s life.
There are various anchoring designs like sinkers, dolphin knots, anchor chains. These anchoring designs depend on the capacity of the population using them. If the bridge is going to be used in populated regions, it is advisable to use chains and cables to support the extra weight. A china ball valve is placed on the base of the pontoon bridge to regulate flow.
These valves allow the water to flow easily without any obstruction.
These pontoon bridges are cheaper than other bridges, but they can cost a fortune based on their material. If you are looking for a reliable and long-living bridge, it’s a good investment choice.
Wind And Water Current
The wind and water currents of the region make it easier for the user to assess the life of the bridge. If it’s a flood region, it’s better not to spend much on the bridge because it is highly possible to get broken.
These pontoon bridges are very useful as they make it easier for users to dismantle and assemble easily. Furthermore, these bridges have a great design that can sustain a large weight capacity at a much smaller cost. These bridges make it easier for users to cross rivers and save time.