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A truss bridge is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of a truss, a structure of connected elements, usually forming triangular units. The connected elements (typically straight) may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes both in response to dynamic loads. The basic types of truss bridges shown in this article have simple designs which could be easily analyzed by 19th and early 20th-century engineers. A truss bridge is economical to construct because it uses materials efficiently.
|Ancestor||Beam bridge|
|Descendant||Cantilever bridge, truss arch bridge, transporter bridge, lattice bridge|
|Carries||Pedestrians, pipelines, automobiles, trucks, light rail, heavy rail|
|Span range||Short to medium – not very long unless it is continuous|
|Material||Timber, iron, steel, reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete|
|Movable||May be movable – see movable bridge|
|Falsework required||Depends upon length, materials, and degree of prefabrication|