Swing bridge

Swing bridge

A swing bridge is a movable bridge that has as its primary structural support a vertical locating pin and support ring at or near to its center, about which the turning span can then pivot horizontally as shown in the animated illustration below. Small swing bridges as found over canals may be pivoted only at one end, opening as would a gate, but require substantial underground structure to support the pivot.

In its closed position, a swing bridge carrying a road over a river or canal, for example, allows road traffic to cross. When a water vessel needs to pass the bridge, road traffic is stopped (usually by traffic signals and barriers), and then motors rotate the bridge approximately 90 degrees horizontally about its pivot point.



*As this type requires no counterweights the complete weight is significantly reduced as compared to other moveable bridges.
*Where sufficient channel is available to have individual traffic directions on each side the likelihood of vessel-to-vessel collisions is reduced.
*The central support is often mounted upon a berm along the axis of the watercourse, intended to protect the bridge from watercraft collisions when it is opened. This artificial island forms an excellent construction area for building the movable span as the construction will not impede channel traffic.


Government Bridge across the Mississippi has a swing section for river traffic traversing Lock and Dam 15.]
* For a symmetrical bridge the central pier forms a hazard to navigation. Asymmetrical bridges may place the pivot near one side of the channel.
* Where a wide channel is not available a large portion of the bridge may be over an area that would be easily spanned by other means.
* A wide channel will be reduced by the center pivot and foundation.
* When open, the bridge will have to maintain its own weight as a balanced double cantilever, while when closed and in use for traffic the live loads will be distributed as in a pair of conventional truss bridges, which may require additional stiffness in some members whose loading will be alternately in compression or tension.
* If struck from the water near the edge of the span, it may rotate enough to cause safety problems (cf. Big Bayou Canot train disaster).



*Puente de la Mujer, an asymmetrical cable-stayed span.


* Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney, Australia. (opened 1902. Closed to traffic, 1988. Still in use as pedestrian and monorail bridge.)
* Glebe Island Bridge, Sydney, Australia. (Opened 1901. Closed to traffic, 1995; supplanted by Anzac Bridge. Still in existence.)
*Victoria Bridge,Townsville, Queensland, Australia.(Opened 1914 est. still in use as a foot bridge.)
* The Sale Swing Bridge, Sale, Victoria, Australia. (Opened 1883. Closed to traffic in 2002. Restored to full working order in 2006.)
* Dunalley Bridge, Dunalley, Tasmania Still in use.


* Belize City Swing Bridge, Belize City (oldest such bridge in Central America, restored in 2000's)



* The longest swing bridge span is 340 metres, by the El Ferdan Railway Bridge across the Suez Canal.


* Le pont tournant rue Dieu, across the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, is a distinctive location in the 1938 film "Hôtel du Nord", and is featured in the opening shot of the film.


* Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke in Wilhelmshaven, built in 1907, with the length of 159m, it was once Europe's biggest swing bridge

The Netherlands

Abtsewoudsebrug in Delft, close the Technische Universiteit Delft, is a bridge of this type. coord|52|0|5.71|N|4|21|50.10|E


* Garden Reach Road Swing Bridge, For Calcutta Port, Kidderpore, Kolkata
* Poira -Corjuem Bridge,for GSIDC,Corjuem,Goa by Rajdeep Buildcon Pvt. Ltd.


* Seán O'Casey Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
* Michael Davitt Bridge, Co. Mayo, Ireland
* Portumna Bridge,Portumna, Co. Galway, Ireland


* Ponte Girevole, Taranto


* Kalpaka Tilts, Liepāja, connecting the city with the former Russian/Soviet port Karosta. The bridge is temporary not operating after a ship rammed part of the construction.

New Zealand

* Kopu Bridge, Waihou River, near Thames, New Zealand

United Kingdom

* Boothferry swing bridge at Boothferry, Yorkshire (see article for image)
* Connaught Crossing in London Docklands, built as a low-rising swing bridge to allow marine traffic in the Royal Docks to pass at a place when the proximity of London City Airport meant a higher fixed bridge was not practicable.
* Manchester Ship Canal at Latchford, Stockton Heath and Lower Walton in Warrington, and also slightly further west at Moore. Near the eastern end of the canal in Salford, the Barton swing bridge is adjacent to the Barton Swing Aqueduct - a 234-foot, 800-tonne trough holding some 800 tonnes of water (retained by gates at either end) swings so that it is at right angles to the Bridgewater Canal to allow ships to pass up the Ship Canal.
*Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, Ireland (under construction)
* Swing Bridge, River Tyne at Newcastle Upon Tyne. The Tyne swing bridge has an 85.7 metre cantilevered span with a central axis of rotation able to move through 90° to allow vessels to pass on either side of it.
* Trowse Bridge at Norwich. Carries the electrified Great Eastern Main Line over the River Yare. It is the only overhead electrified swing bridge in the country.
* Barmouth Bridge - rail
* Beccles swing bridge - rail
* Bethells Swing Bridge
* Goole swing bridge - rail
* Hawarden Railway Bridge - rail ( [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northeast/sites/deeside/pages/photos1.shtml?3 now deactivated] ).
* Leeds and Liverpool Canal Has a large number of swing bridges, especially between Bingley and Skipton and Burscough and Liverpool. Many are manually operated, carrying only farm tracks, but a significant number carry road traffic and are mechanised for boater operation.
* Kennet and Avon Canal at Sulhamstead, Berkshire
* Oulton Broad swing bridge - rail
* Reedham swing bridge - rail
* Selby swing bridge - rail
* Somerleyton swing bridge
* Sutton Bridge swing bridge
* Caernarfon swing bridge

United States

* Bridgeport Swing Bridge, Bridgeport, Alabama (demolished in late 1970s, replaced with new span)
* Bridge No. 1397, Route 156 over the Niantic River, East Lyme, Connecticut-Waterford, Connecticut (1921 steel swing bridge)
* Bridge No. 4455, Central Avenue over Lewis Gut, Bridgeport, Connecticut (1924 steel swing bridge)
* Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River, Portland, OR
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=45.626599,-122.687781&spn=0.002724,0.009152&t=k Google Maps image]
* Center Street Bridge, Cleveland, Ohio (1901)
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=41.494300,-81.703500&ie=UTF8&t=k&ll=41.495000,-81.704700&spn=0.000100,0.000100&z=19 Google Maps image]
* Chef Menteur Bridge, near Slidell, Louisiana
*Chincoteague Channel Swing Bridge, Chincoteague, Virginia
* Curtis Creek Rail Bridge, Baltimore, Maryland
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&z=18&ll=39.201078,-76.576091&spn=0.00274,0.003932 Google Maps image]
* East Haddam Bridge, Route 82 over the Connecticut River, East Haddam, Connecticut (1913)
* Fort Madison Toll Bridge, crosses Mississippi River and connects the Fort Madison, Iowa with Niota, Illinois.
* Fort Pike Bridge, near Slidell, Louisiana and New Orleans, Louisiana
* Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, Washington, DC
* Figure Eight Island Bridge, North of Wilmington, North Carolina
* Government Bridge on the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois (1896)
* Grand Haven GTW RR Swing Bridge Connecting Grand Haven & Ferrysburg, MI
** [http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Bridges/GTWGrandHavenSwingBridge.htm]
* Grosse Ile Toll Bridge and nearby Wayne County Bridge, Grosse Ile, Michigan
* I Street Bridge, Sacramento, California
* Livingston Avenue Bridge, Albany, New York
* Middle Branch of Patapsco River Rail Bridge, near Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=&ie=UTF8&z=17&ll=39.265313,-76.62406&spn=0.005474,0.007864&t=h&om=1 Google Maps image]
* Mathers Bridge, Connecting Merritt Island, Florida to Indian Harbour Beach, Florida across the Banana River
* New Richmond Swing Bridge, near Fennville, Michigan
* Norfolk Southern Railway (former Conrail) Bridge crossing the Maumee River, Toledo, Ohio
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=41.6322,-83.531209&spn=0.001371,0.002376&om=0 Google Maps image]
** [http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=161541 RailPictures.Net Photo]
* The 2,800 ft Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge crossing the Ocmulgee River in Lumber City, Georgia built 1916. "Note- Electrical Swing Components Removed"
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=31.930033,-82.683723&ie=UTF8&ll=31.919794,-82.674823&spn=0.003961,0.00677&t=k&z=17 Google Maps Image]
* North Fork New River Bridge, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
* Northern Avenue Bridge over Fort Point Channel in Boston, Massachusetts (1908 steel truss)
* Omaha Road Bridge Number 15, an asymmetrical single track railroad bridge over the Mississippi River between Saint Paul, Minnesota and Lilydale, Minnesota (1916)
* Pennsylvania Railroad's Shellpot Branch over Christina River in Wilmington, Delaware (original two-track bridge replaced with a single track bridge in 2003)
* Pennsylvania Railroad's South Philadelphia Branch over Schuylkill River
* Providence & Worcester railroad bridge, Middletown, Connecticut
* Riverside-Delanco Bridge over Rancocas Creek in New Jersey
* Saugatuck River Bridge (Bridge No. 1349), Route 136 over the Saugatuck River, Westport, Connecticut (1884 iron-truss swing bridge)
* Spokane Street Bridge over the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, Washington (1991 reinforced concrete double swing span)
* St. Joseph Swing Bridge over the St. Joseph River, St. Joseph, Michigan (1904)
** [http://railroadfan.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-33509 Railroadfan.com Photo]
* Surf City Bridge Surf City, NC
* Union Pacific Railroad (former CNW) Bridge crossing the Mississippi River, Clinton, Iowa
** [http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=155001 RailPictures.net Photo (1 of 2)]
** [http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=154999 RailPictures.net Photo (2 of 2)]
* Woods Memorial Bridge over the Beaufort River in Beaufort, SC
** [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=beaufort,+sc&ie=UTF8&ll=32.428106,-80.668724&spn=0.003939,0.00677&t=k&z=17 Google Maps Image]
* Seven bridges over the Harlem River in New York City, including from south to north:
** Willis Avenue Bridge
** Third Avenue Bridge
** Madison Avenue Bridge
** 145th Street Bridge
** Macombs Dam Bridge
** University Heights Bridge
** Spuyten Duyvil Bridge

See also

*Movable bridge for a list of other movable bridge types


External links

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrspAPjQZmk Video of manually operated railroad swing bridge over the Lewes & Rehoboth Canal, Lewes, Delaware, 2008]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Swing bridge — Swing Swing, n. 1. The act of swinging; a waving, oscillating, or vibratory motion of a hanging or pivoted object; oscillation; as, the swing of a pendulum. [1913 Webster] 2. Swaying motion from one side or direction to the other; as, some men… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • swing bridge — swing bridges N COUNT A swing bridge is a low bridge that can be opened either in the middle or on one side in order to let ships pass through …   English dictionary

  • swing bridge — n BrE a bridge that can be pulled up for tall ships to go under it …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • swing bridge — n. a bridge that can be swung back in a horizontal plane to allow tall vessels, etc. to pass …   English World dictionary

  • swing bridge — noun also swing drawbridge : a drawbridge that opens and closes to river craft by rotating around a central pier called also swivel bridge; compare lift bridge * * * a bridge that can open by pivoting on a central pier to let vessels pass. [1700… …   Useful english dictionary

  • swing bridge — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms swing bridge : singular swing bridge plural swing bridges British a bridge over a river that can swing sideways to let ships pass …   English dictionary

  • swing bridge — /ˈswɪŋ brɪdʒ/ (say swing brij) noun 1. a bridge which is pivoted and may be swung open horizontally to allow ships to pass; pivot bridge. 2. a pedestrian bridge suspended by cables …   Australian-English dictionary

  • swing bridge — a bridge that can open by pivoting on a central pier to let vessels pass. [1700 10] * * * …   Universalium

  • swing bridge — type of bridge that opens to allows ship to pass through …   English contemporary dictionary

  • swing bridge — noun a bridge that can be swung to one side to allow ships to pass …   English new terms dictionary

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