Bridges are breathing new life into cities.
In the United States alone there are over 600,000 bridges standing today. Hundreds more are being constructed every year.
How are bridges improving cities beyond the obvious? What impact do these structural marvels have on cities beyond their ability to move people from one place to another?
- Bridges Spur Economic Development
Throughout history, bridges have been bringing people together. That’s important physically, of course, as they open up transportation routes for people to be able to exchange good and services, but never before has it been so important for the intellectual development of cities. Studies have shown that when a substantial bridge project has been completed in a medium- to large-sized city, all residents of that city experienced a significant income increase of anywhere from 15-20% over time. Why does this happen? Because bridges foster something called “agglomeration of development” which is just another way to describe the inevitable movement of intellectual capital to the region in and around the bridge.
- Bridges Support Important Utilities
Modern bridges are ecosystems in-and-of themselves. They do so much more than support vehicular traffic; in fact, most also support extremely complex networks of vital public and private utilities. Bridge utility pipelines carry everything from natural gas to carbon fiber cabling over bridge spans, in some cases supplying outlying areas with the elements necessary to reach new levels of development themselves. Bridges are one of the best and most viable answers to “the last mile” problem for utility providers who struggle with physically connecting far-flung customers with the utilities they provide. Bridge structures also make it far easier and less expensive for utilities to span water.
- Bridges as Placemakers
There’s a reason so many bridges are iconic. Great bridge design can instill a sense of place on a city. San Francisco is an excellent example. How do bridges contribute to a city’s sense of place? They are identifiable, they’re inherently visible, and they’re long lasting enough to become one of the defining characteristics of a city. They can efficiently make up for poor city planning, they can serve as community meeting points, and they can even encourage a more harmonious balance between nature and development. Bridges are so much more than the sum of their parts.
The team at Aptus has the utmost respect for bridges. Having worked on over 2,400 bridges in dozens of states all across the U.S., Aptus understands the connective power of bridge attached utilities. Our teams work on the bridge pipelines that keep life moving for millions of Americans.
Would you like to speak to an Aptus team member about an upcoming bridge utilities project? We’re happy to talk. Reach out today to our corporate office to be connected with your regional representative.