Types of Handrails Used in Bridge

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In this article, we will discuss on types of handrails used in bridges.

A hand railing or bridge railing is a guardrail system prepared to protect people or vehicles falling off the bridge or restricting vehicles’ movement. Handrails can be prepared of concrete, steel, wood, or any other materials.

There is no relationship between the strength of the bridge and with hand railing. It also increases the aesthetic beauty of the bridge.

Many times bridge railing can be very helpful to avoid accidents to maintain lanes, and speed and protect pedestrians.



  1. Types of Handrails Used in Bridge  

There are commonly 4 types of bridge railing employed on the field that is listed below:

a. Steel Bridge Railings

b. W-Beam Railings

c. Thrie-Beam Railings

d. Concrete Beam Railings


a. Steel Bridge Railings

Steel Railings are available in a number of cross-sections and designs. The tubular railing system is the best and most commonly employed railing system.

Steel bridge railings are mostly utilized because they can be built separately as well as can be integrated with other materials such as concrete.

For those bridges with low-vehicular traffic and made for pedestrians, architectural steel railings are majorly employed. Architecturally essential bridges do not possess a bulky and heavy design. They incorporate decorative railings without compromising pedestrian safety.


Steel Bridge Railings



b. W-Beam Railings

W-Beam railings are employed for bridges with less traffic. W-Beam railings contain a two-wave design and are connected to steel posts or truss girders.  W-Beam is a simple steel railing system that can be prepared for higher strength.

Pedestrian and steel railings are fully coated with paints and also galvanized.


W-Beam Railings



c. Thrie-Beam Railings

Three beams are high-strength guard rail systems prepared for highways, especially on sharp curves and slopes. Unlike W-Beams, the beam rail properties a three-wave cross-sectional design and has greater tensile strength and anti-corrosion features.

Three beam rail systems can take the impact of out-of-control vehicles and redirect them to a safer stop. These rail systems give greater performance and versatility.

Thrie-Beam Railings


d. Concrete Beam Railings

Concrete is the majorly used material for bridge construction. Concreterailings are connected to the bridge’s deck slab to make a strong vehicle barrier. Concrete railings are an excellent selection for urban areas or bridges that have heavy truck movement.

The initial construction cost of concrete railings is very expensive. Huge concrete railings in many situations can obstruct an open road view. In such situations, concrete railings with high strength can be attached to a tubular railing system.


Concrete Beam Railings


Hope you got an idea of the types of handrails used in Bridge.



  2. Types of Bridge Railing Based on Materials  

Types of Handrails used in bridges based on the railing materials, there are 4 types of bridge railings that are as follows:

a. Cable Railings

b. Glass Railings

c. Metal Railings

d. Wooden Railings


a. Cable Railings

Cable railings are a type of railing that employ cables in place of traditional balusters or pickets. Cable railings are mainly prepared of stainless steel, making them very strong and durable.

They need very low maintenance, as they do not need any type of painting or staining. However, cable railings can be more expensive, and they are not always the best selection for locations that have a lot of wind or rain.


Cable Railings



b. Glass Railings

Glass railings are a type of railing made of glass panels. Tempered glass is majorly employed to make glass railings, making them extremely sturdy and durable.

Since they don’t require painting or staining, they also need huge care.

Glass railings are not normally the best selection for areas that have a lot of wind or rain,  and they may be expensive.

Glass Railings




c. Metal Railings

Metal railings are then the best and cheap selection for any bridges as they are solid and long-lasting.

They are also low maintenance and don’t need painting or staining. Also, metal railings can be quite expensive as an initial investment.


Metal Railings



d. Wooden Railings

Wooden railings are popular use in the building but for bridge, it is less popular. It is mainly used in temporary bridge construction made over a river.

The advantageses of wooden railings are they are strong, durable, and need less maintenance. Pressure-treated lumber is normally employed to prepare wooden railings, which makes them resistant to rot and insect damage.

Wooden railings can be coated with painted or stained to match the exterior of the bridge. Although they are more expensive compared to types of railings, wooden railings aren’t suitable for locations with high winds or lots of rain.


Wooden Railings



Read Also: Flooding Irrigation


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