Bridges come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. At one end of the spectrum, there are wooden bridges – where you can hear the timbers creak, as the truck passes over – not the happiest of sounds. At the other end, long viaducts – in some cases stretching for several kilometres.
Each has its limits, with the weakest bridge on route determining the maximum vehicle weight allowable, the number of axles/tyres required etc. In some cases, the truck has to be artificially lengthened in order to limit the load imposed on each, individual bridge span. This was the case with a railway locomotive collected from Sarajevo, where the first bridge to be crossed had been weakened during the Yugoslav conflict.
Highway Authorities and Bridge / Route Surveys
In the main, highway authorities know the design limits and issue permits accordingly. Occasionally, normally because that particular configuration has never been attempted before, bridge/route surveys come into play – an expensive and lengthy process.
With a project in northern Greece, given doubts about the strength of several bridges, the decision was taken to land the cargo on a local beach, construct a short access road, in order to then gain entry to the final site.