Understanding Bridges

Brilliant engineering goes into creating a sturdy, reliable (and sometimes beautiful) bridge. Learn about these fascinating structures in these videos.

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John A. Roebling: Brooklyn Bridge

When New York's leaders contacted John Roebling for help on the Brooklyn Bridge, he was already a well-known engineer -- but was he up to the task? Tune in and learn how Roebling used his cable designs to spin the Stuff of Genius in this episode.


When New York's leaders contacted John Roebling for help on the Brooklyn Bridge, he was already a well-known engineer -- but was he up to the task? Tune in and learn how Roebling used his cable designs to spin the Stuff of Genius in this episode.
1:41

John A. Roebling: Brooklyn Bridge

On Discovery Channel's "Massive Engines," host Chris Barrie explains the science behind the London Tower bridge. The London Tower Bridge uses hydraulic pressure to open and close the bridge.
2:53

Massive Engines: London Tower Bridge

The Spokane Street Swing Bridge in Seattle took 24 months to build and cost 33 million dollars. Engineers found a way to lift the bridge one inch and rotate it to allow ships through. Learn more on Discovery Channel's "Really Big Things."
2:52

Really Big Things: Spokane Street Swing Bridge

The Germans took over a century to build this water bridge. See how revolutionary the Magdeburg Water Bridge really is. Check it out with host Matt Rogers on Discovery Channel's series, "Really Big Things."
1:02

Really Big Things: Magdeburg Water Bridge

A drawbridge is a bridge over a body of water that opens up to allow boats and ships to pass through. Watch this video from HowStuffWorks to learn how it works.
1:24

How Drawbridges Work

When building a brand new bridge, it's important to build it in balance. Learn about the giant task of bridge building in this clip from "Extreme Engineering" on Discovery Channel.
2:11

Extreme Engineering: Balancing a Bridge

Bridges such as the Golden Gate Bridge would have been impossible to build without steel. Learn some of the benefits of steel compared to other bridge building materials on Discovery Channel's "HowStuffWorks" show.
2:54

HowStuffWorks Show: Episode 12: Steel Bridges

It takes a village to maintain bridges. Along with paint crews who constantly clean and paint bridges, there are electricians, carpenters and steel crews who work nonstop. Learn more about bridge maintenance on TLC's "Understanding."
2:08

Understanding: Maintaining a Bridge

Learn some of the challenges when trying to hurricane proof a new bridge in this clip from "Extreme Engineering" on Discovery Channel.
2:55

Extreme Engineering: Hurricane Proofing Bridge

Building a large steel bridge is much like a ballet. It's a dance between man, machine and monster chunks of steel. Watch this delicate balance in "Extreme Engineering" on Discovery Channel.
3:02

Extreme Engineering: Bridge Iron Work

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Understanding Bridges