Deck (bridge)

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"Bridge deck" redirects here. For other uses, see Bridge deck (disambiguation).
The various part of a truss bridge.

A bridge deck or road bed is the roadway, or the pedestrian walkway, surface of a bridge. It is not to be confused with any deck of a ship. The deck may constructed of concrete, steel, open grating, or wood. Sometimes the deck is covered with asphalt concrete or other pavement. The concrete deck may be an integral part of the bridge structure (T-beam or double tee structure) or it may be supported with I-beams or steel girders.

When a bridge deck is installed in a through truss, it is sometimes called a floor system.[1] A suspended bridge deck will be suspended from the main structural elements on a suspension or arch bridge. On some bridges, such as a tied-arch or a cable-stayed, the deck is a primary structural element, carrying tension or compression to support the span.

Structural analysis[edit]

Structural engineers have several principal categories of bridge decks, for the purposes of analytic techniques. A beam deck is one where the deck and any supporting structure act together as a single beam. A grid deck uses beams and diaphragms as the supporting structure. The supporting system of a grid deck is analyzed using a grillage analysis. A slab deck is one where the the deck is analyzed as a plate. If the slab has a stiffness that is different in two directions (at right angles), then the deck is known and analyzed as an orthotropic deck. A beam and slab deck is one where the the beams may deflect somewhat independently, and any transverse forces are carried in the deck. A cellular deck is one where a number of thin slabs and webs will enclose cells within the deck. A boxgirder deck is one where the deck forms the top of the box girder during analysis.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Members of a Truss Bridge, by Benj. F. La Rue, Home Study Magazine, Published by the Colliery Engineer Company, Vol 3, No. 2, March 1898, pages 67-68.
  2. ^ Hambly, E. C. (1991). Bridge Deck Behaviour. CRC Press. pp. 1–16. ISBN 9780419172604. 

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