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Difference between Bridges and Viaducts

Difference between Bridges and Viaducts

Today, we’re going to be discussing the difference between bridges and viaducts. Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference between the two. Bridges are typically smaller, spanning shorter distances over water or other obstacles. Viaducts are much larger and can be used to cross longer distances over land. Let’s take a closer look at each type of structure.

What are Bridges?

Bridges are structures built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle. Bridges come in many different shapes and sizes and are constructed from a variety of materials. The most common type of bridge is the beam bridge, which consists of a horizontal beam supported by two piers. Other types of bridges include truss bridges, arch bridges, and suspension bridges. Bridges play an important role in transportation, commerce, and communication. They allow people and goods to move between different areas and provide vital links between different parts of the world.

What are Viaducts?

Viaducts are bridges that span a valley or other body of water, and they are often used to carry roads or railways. Viaducts are typically made from stone, concrete, or steel, and they can range in length from a few hundred feet to several miles. Viaducts are usually built when it is not possible to build a tunnel or bridge due to the depth of the valley or the height of the waterway. In some cases, viaducts are also built for aesthetic reasons. The Viaduc de Millau in France, for example, is one of the tallest viaducts in the world and is considered to be an engineering marvel. Viaducts are an essential part of many transportation networks, and they continue to play a vital role in connecting people and goods around the world.

Difference between Bridges and Viaducts

Bridges and viaducts are both man-made structures that are built to span physical obstacles. Bridges are typically used to span rivers or other bodies of water, while viaducts are used to span valleys or other land features. Bridges are supported by piers that extend from the shoreline into the water, while viaducts are supported by columns that are anchored into the ground. Bridges typically have a shorter span than viaducts, and they are not as tall. As a result, bridges are often not able to support as much weight as viaducts. Viaducts were first built in ancient Rome, and they became popular during the Industrial Revolution as a way to move people and goods across valleys and over obstacles such as rivers. Bridges have been around for centuries, and they continue to be essential for modern transportation.


Bridges and viaducts are both types of elevated roadways, but there is a big difference between the two. Bridges are typically used to cross smaller waterways while viaducts are built for larger roads and highways. Viaducts can also be used in urban areas to help reduce traffic congestion on surface streets. If you’re looking for an easy way to get from point A to point B, bridges, and viaducts both have their benefits.

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