Technology Spot – Bridge Components

Bridges have been around for many years throughout history as a means of easily traversing challenging areas. There are many different types of bridges and below you will see a cross-section of a typical bridge.

When a bridge is set over water there are many difficult areas to access and inspect. Commercial and Specialised Diving conduct inspections, maintenance and repairs on the underwater sections of bridges regularly. Below is a list of areas that we commonly deal with:

Bridge Components
Bridge Components

Abutment: A body, usually of masonry, which provides the resistance to the vertical forces and thrust of the arch.

Culvert: A structure that allows water to flow underneath

Caisson: A bridge foundation, usually imbedded in a riverbed by continuously digging out the material within the bed, so that the caisson sinks.

Pier: The support between two bridge spans, usually arches.

Cutwater: The end of a pier-base, pointed to cleave the water

Fender: A protective enclosure round a pier structure

Bridge Scour: When sediment from around abutments or piers is removed. This is commonly caused by fast flowing water flowing around abutments or piers.

Commercial and Specialised Diving are able to carry out a wide range of inspections, repairs and maintenance on a variety of bridges, so contact us today for advice on any underwater bridge operations. Our contact number is 01202 580007, or alternatively contact a member of staff via email at