ADOT Kids: Art and answers to your bridge questions!

EDITOR'S NOTE: During this unprecedented time, ADOT is creating transportation activities for kids. Please visit azdot.gov/ADOTKids or use the hashtag #ADOTKids on ADOT's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to see what we have going on. 

By Garin Groff / ADOT Communications

We’re excited that so many kids wanted to learn more about bridges and also that so many of you shared your bridge drawings with us!

We’ve already explained some of the work that goes into designing, building and maintaining bridges, and then we asked you to share questions you have about bridges. And you had lots of great questions! The video at right has answers from David Benton, ADOT’s bridge design manager. And here are some others, also with Mr. Benton's help: 

What is the longest bridge in Arizona?

While the video highlights the Mile-Long Bridge on Loop 202 in Tempe (a mile is 5,280 feet), after this activity ended we realized there's an even longer one. An elevated section of Interstate 10 near the "Stack" interchange with Interstate 17, just west of downtown Phoenix, is 7,111 feet long, making it the longest bridge in Arizona. Those are two very long bridges!  

How do bridges withstand earthquakes?

You might be surprised by this, but bridges can be built to move and wiggle like a spring when an earthquake hits. This allows the bridge to move along with the earthquake so the bridge parts don’t get damaged. And if they do get damaged, those parts can be fixed and the bridge can still stand.

How do you fix the parts of a bridge that are underwater if they break?

Fixing bridge parts underwater is tricky. In most cases, the best way to fix a bridge part that is underwater is to pump the water away so the construction workers can get to it and make repairs.

Why are triangles strong?

Triangles are strong when you put them together with a lot of other triangles. The reason they can be so strong is because some of the three sides of that triangle can be pushed and pulled. When those sides work together as a team, they can take a lot of weight. Check out how to build a popsicle stick bridge on the internet and you can find out ways to build these triangles!

Thanks again for all these great questions. Now let’s look at everyone’s great artwork!

ADOT Kids: Bridge Colorings