What is incremental bridge launching?

In the construction industry bridge building/launching is one of the main areas. While there are various bridge launching techniques that construction companies use, the incremental launching method still remains to be an ideal alternative. The convenience and efficiency of its process is something that most companies find valuable.

Now, why would construction companies vouch for this method? Specifically, because it enables rapid construction and is suitable for building bridge decks as high as 250m. Besides this, with this method companies are able to build bridges in sections, one by one, thus causing less hardship and confusion. 

Besides the reasons mentioned above, the incremental launching method of bridge construction has some more advantages, let’s know them in detail. 

How is the incremental launching method beneficial?

Bridges are built with incremental launching in a step-by-step method, hence the benefits that come with it are many. Some of the common yet most relevant advantages of incremental launching methods are as follows.


As all the assemblies are done onsite but on a separate pre-fabrication area, the actual construction space is safe for workers. This stands to be one of the greatest advantages of this bridge launching method. Since we are aware of how unsafe it can get on a construction site with heavy machinery, bulky materials as well as the elevated heights of construction. 


The speed at which a bridge is built with incremental launching is tremendous. This process is conducted in installments as a result, the actual work is done on fixed pillars and they are further advanced into the required height. As the progress takes place gradually following a dedicated process, there is no time lost and the outcome is as desired. 


A very noticeable advantage of this method is that the actual construction area is quite small, as compared to space where all the parts of the bridge are fabricated and equipment is stored. As a result, the issues of accessing risky areas like under the bridge structure, steep slopes, etc can be easily avoided.

Process of incremental launching

IBL or incremental bridge launching method is used to build bridges over various areas. Some of them are risky locations while some are usual. The list of areas where incremental launching is used are:

  • Small but concrete areas
  • Environmentally sensitive areas
  • Deepwater crossings
  • Steep slopes
  • Deep valleys

Considering all these different locations, listed below is a process that is followed for this construction process for launching bridges.

  • The construction process starts with building a prefabricated deck mold to support all the parts of the structure at various levels
  • A strong framework is then attached to this deck enabling the production of cast-in-situ segments 
  • As and when each segment is completed, it placed on sliding bearings and pushed forward 
  • An a steel nose is placed at the first level of the framework to enable the segment to fit in its required space

Building bridges is not at all an easy task. There is a lot of precision that is required to make the structure durable as well as the most functional. But, with the incremental launching bridge method, it became simple, fast as well as efficient and easily possible.

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