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Bascule bridge: a type of bridge with a pivoting section that is raised and lowered using counterweights. How does a drawbridge differ?

The term drawbridge is often used for any type of movable bridge. --SPUI (talk | don't use sorted stub templates!) 00:34, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I think there is probably a lot more to be said about:

  • drawbridges as found in castles, or about
  • the general mechanical mechanism that a drawbridge uses.

Each of these I think would fit on this page, but are certainly different from "bascule bridge" as a type of bridge across a river. I think the problem is that this page just needs expansion. Brusselsshrek 15:07, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

A drawbridge is lifted bij cables, the couterweigt is not in line with the road, as are bascule bridges. There's a big difference. T Houdijk 21:07, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that drawbridge is both a specific kind of bridge (as discussed above)... and a general term that is, possibly incorrectly, used to describe other types of "lifting" or "opening" bridges (including bascule bridges) - perhaps a subtlety between English English and American English. The drawbrige article simply needs to be expanded to accomodate this... For instance information about drawbridges built to cross castle moats. 15:37, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

As the discussion appears stagnent, I am removing the merge tag, but adding a stub note. - Leonard G. 17:03, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

If I had to define it I would say that a drawbridge is lifted by chains or cables. A bascule bridge balances around a pivot, with any counterweights fixed to the bridge deck (eg on beams projecting beyond the pivot). Very few drawbridges don't have counterweights, so the terms are not mutually exclusive: many drawbridges are also bascule bridges. Put the same mecahnism on a castle and you would call it a drawbridge; put it over a river crossing and it would be called a bascule bridge. It's arguable that the parts of the Drawbridge#Road, rail and canal article covering (rather badly) transport drawbridges should be combined with bascule bridge leaving the castle stuff to an article on its own; the two don't have much in common other than some fairly obvious engineering. Cyclopaedic (talk) 17:45, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Da Vinci[edit]

While reading the book Math and the Mona Lisa: the Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci by Bulent Atalay I stumbled upon the following text

Among the designs that fill the notebooks one can see that he prefigured, among other devices, the bicycle, the automobile, ...the collapsble bridge...

I was wondering what is meant by collapsible bridge. At first I thought it was the usual drawbridge, but I guess drawbridge was used well before da Vinci's time (15th century). --Kompik 15:03, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Sentence removed from "Road and rail" section[edit]

I just removed the following sentence from Road and rail, which was added on 20 May 2008 by Tabletop [1]:

A vertical lift drawbridge at Mossdale in California was the actual final link in the first transcontinental railway and was opened a few months later than the Golden Spike ceremony at Promentory.

There were several reasons.

  1. The actual final link in the First Transcontinental Railroad was the bridge between Omaha and Council Bluffs, completed in 1872 (see First Transcontinental Railroad#Railroad developments). The Mossdale Crossing was built sometime in the latter half of 1869 (our article claims November, but [2] says the first train crossed on 8 September 1869).
  2. I can find no sources, and none were given, that confirm that this bridge was a drawbridge.
  3. It seems likely that the original bridge is being confused with a later bridge built at the site in 1942 ([3] says that nothing remains of the original bridge; [4] says the current railroad bridge, which is a drawbridge, has a plate bearing the date 1942).

Of course, I could very well be mistaken, in which case the sentence should be readded (with supporting references, of course). —Bkell (talk) 13:49, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone have a view on the inclusion of the animation in the lead? On the one hand, it works, and clearly illustrates what a drawbridge is. On the other, it seems a bit trivial and inconsistent with the usual style of articles. Cyclopaedic (talk) 12:03, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Much too narrow[edit]

Re: the discussion above: if in British English drawbridge has this narrow meaning - I'm an American who spent what adds up to about 2 years of my life in England and was unaware of this - fine, but the article should at least discuss this difference between British and American English, and there should be something much more than a "see also" to connect to other related articles. Somewhere there needs to be a central article on bridges that open. Is there a British English term for that? If so, I'm perfectly glad to see that term as the title of that article. If not, then that article should be at this name. - Jmabel | Talk 23:59, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean bascule bridges which are already mentioned? Nev1 (talk) 00:24, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Bascule bridge is also too narrow for what I have in mind. We need an overview article about all bridges that open. It doesn't include bridges that open by rotating horizontally, or by lifting vertically (as against hinging from one end), and probably some other configurations I'm not thinking of offhand. (I've heard of bridges that actually submerge to let a boat through, but I've never seen one. I think there may also be some that withdraw horizontally onto part of their own deck. Etc.) - Jmabel | Talk 16:48, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Movable bridge is a possibility, see Paravane (talk) 17:19, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Sounds plausible. I'd agree that a "drawbridge" is a narrower term and that a drawbridge article needs to focus down on that meaning. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:36, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I see we have Moveable bridge; I've added a hatnote here since, in the US, any movable bridge is a drawbridge. Also, by the way, several [two] of the images illustrating the present drawbridge article appear to be bascule bridges, which is very confusing if the intent is an article based on the narrow meaning of the term. - Jmabel | Talk 01:10, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Did those two removals myself. - Jmabel | Talk 21:27, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Enough already[edit]

The information that I added about drawbridges versus bascule bridges is factual. I am an expert on bridges and the other reverting editors clearly are not. Leave the content in place please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

If you are "an expert on bridges", then you will have access to good WP:RELIABLE SOURCES to explain your point and WP:VERIFY it. In the meantime, please read WP:BURDEN. WP:EDITWAR wouldn't hurt either. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:24, 29 September 2016 (UTC)