Bridges on Screen

by Jeffrey Campbell, Manager; CAD Engineering Dept., Michael Baker, Inc., Box 280, 4301 Ditch Ridge Road, Beaver, PA 15009-0280,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 9, Pg. 62-64

Document Type: Feature article


Computer software can help engineers produce designs for more economical, constructable bridges in less time than conventional methods. Software is being put to work in bridge design departments in several states, and some officials predict that 3-D programs compatible with advanced software for highways will soon be available. This would make it possible to integrate software packages for projects including many bridges along miles of highway. The article describes two bridge engineering programs available through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that provide a good start toward this 3-D future. One package, BRADD-2, automates design and drafting of single-span bridges up to 200 ft long. The other, BDS, handles analysis and design steps to permit modeling of longer and more complex structures. An accompanying sidebar describes other bridge engineering software.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Computer software | Highway bridges | Bridges | Highway and road design | Economic factors | Constructability | Engineering education

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