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Floating bridge refers to a bridge floating on the water with boats or pontoons instead of piers. The historical record of the pontoon is early in China.
There are two structural forms of pontoon bridges: ①The traditional form is to erect beams on a ship or pontoon and then pave the bridge deck. ②The form of boat and beam uniting, or the boat is connected end to end in a tandem type, or the boat body is closely arranged into a belt type. In order to keep the position of the floating bridge axis from shifting, cable anchors are required in the upstream and downstream. In order to connect with the two sides of the strait, transition beams or springboards need to be installed on both sides of the strait. In order to adapt to the fluctuation of water level, lifting docks or lifting trestle bridges should also be set up on both sides of the bank.
Floating bridges can be used for pedestrians, roads, and railways. The structure is not complicated, the frame is easy to disassemble, but the maintenance cost is high. In peacetime, it can be used to respond to disasters or as a temporary transportation facility. In wartime, it can be used to ensure that the army can quickly pass the river and military standard pontoon bridges. In order to increase its mobility, light metals are often used to make self-propelled bridges.