Box Girder Bridge

by ce on December 29, 2014

A box gridge bridge is a bridge where the main beams comprise girders in the shape of a hollow box. The box girder normally comprises either prestressed concrete, structural steel, or a composite of steel and reinforced concrete. The box is typically rectangular or trapezoidal in cross-section. Box girder bridges are commonly used for highway flyovers and for modern elevated structures of light rail transport. Although normally the box girder bridge is a form of beam bridge, box girders may also be used on cable-stayed bridges and other forms.

Compared to I-beam girders, box girders have a number of key advantages and disadvantages:

  • Better resistance to torsion, which is particularly of benefit if the bridge deck is curved in plan
  • Larger girders can be constructed, because the presense of two webs allows wider and hence stronger flanges to be used. This in turn allows longer spans
  • More expensive to fabricate
  • More difficult to maintain, because of the need for access to a confined space inside the box

If made of concrete, box girder bridges may be cast in place using falsework supports, removed after completion, or in section if a segmental bridge. Box girders may also be prefabricated in a fabrication yard, then transported and placed using cranes. For steel box girders, the girders are normally fabricated off site and lifted into place by crane, with sections connected by bolting or weling. If a composite concrete bridge deck is used, it is often cast in-place using temporary falsework supported off the steel girder. Either form of bridge may also be installed using the technique of incremental launching.


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