Best bridge engineering software for your Windows PC

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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bridge engineering software

Bridge engineering software solutions are oriented toward professionals and students looking for powerful civil engineering tools to help them analyze, design, and generate bridge models.

With the aid of these programs, engineers can turn their dreams into reality, in order to deliver fully functional bridge structures that have a unique design and pass all safety tests.

In this article, we handpicked the 4 best bridge engineering software tools, which are suitable for both beginner and advanced users.

What are the best bridge engineering software solutions?

1

MIDAS Civil

Midas Civil

MIDAS Civil is an elaborate bridge engineering software solution wrapped in a user-friendly graphical interface. It has modeling and analysis features that give you the possibility to create large-scale structure designs from start to finish.

As far as modeling tools are concerned, MIDAS Civil has a cable-stayed bridge wizard that allows you to quickly produce complete bridge models, set up the construction stage models, and analyze alternatives.

Additional wizards can be used to evaluate 2D Transverse, rail track, and suspension bridge models. The whole procedure needed for analysis and design can be automatically generated by MIDAS Civil, based on standard data input.

When it comes to analysis, you can experiment with tools for measuring composite girder bridges, integral and pre-stressed concrete box-girder bridges, as well as specific stages in the construction project.

The post-processor found in MIDAS Civil takes into account specific design standards to auto-generate load combinations. And it can show animated output such as static or dynamic analysis results. Reports and tables can be created, too, which can be further imported into Microsoft Excel or Word.

2

CSiBridge

CSiBridge

CSiBridge contains engineering tools for modeling, analyzing, and designing bridges. It’s powered by the same team behind SAP2000, the comprehensive software solution dedicated to all-purpose structural analysis and design.

CSiBridge provides a unified graphical interface for modeling, design, analysis, load rating, scheduling, and reporting tasks. It includes several templates to help you get started with bridge structures.

Model properties can be edited in a table view to swiftly make model adjustments, as well as to import and export tables to Microsoft Access and Excel.

Based on this data, the bridge engineering software solution generates shell, spine or solid object models. Any changes made to the model properties are automatically updated in the designs.

Furthermore, bridge engineers can tinker with familiar substructure elements, such as bents, bearings, post-tensioning, layout lines, and abutments.

Additional components include foundation springs, restrainers, parametric variations, lanes, joints, frames, tendons, cables, links, and hinges. You can also define vehicle loads and classes, parametric loading, and load patterns.

The most recent enhancement of CSiBridge is a Bridge Modeler component, which allows you to define the parameters for girder-type bridge systems. It can create multiple pairs of braces, necessary for cross-frames made of steel.

3

Autodesk Structural Bridge Design

Autodesk Structural Bridge Design

Structural Bridge Design from developer Autodesk presents an integrated bridge engineering software solution. It’s not as complex as Midas Civil or CSiBridge, but it’s designed for small to medium-sized bridges.

Students and educators can get it free for 3 years. The program features tools to help you design bridge models, analyze variables, and check the code.

It’s possible to define the geometrical properties and materials used to calculate all the necessary parameters for bridge sections or girder components.

Thanks to a built-in workflow, you can load and analyze the bridge conditions, as well as make sure that the code is compliant with AASHTO, EUROCODES, and other standards. Moreover, the properties of every bridge section can be calculated, such as the shear and torsion.

When it comes to the project stage, you can pick the right type of analysis from grillage, line beam, and finite element. Calculation reports are automatically compiled and produced by Structural Bridge Design.

4

LARSA 4D Bridge Series

LARSA 4D Bridge Series

LARSA 4D Bridge Series is a software suite specially made for bridge analysis and design. It can be used in modeling advanced bridges supported by cables, steel girder, concrete segments, and precast elements.

The entire package relies on a state-of-the-art analysis engine, a graphical user interface for data processing, together with numerous design functions.

For example, you can take advantage of a finite library of elastic and non-linear elements, such as multi-node super cables, non-linear grounded spring, friction pendulum, or beam with inelastic connection.

As far as analysis goes, you can choose between standard and advanced mode. The standard analysis type covers linear static, basic moving load, and staged construction, among others. Meanwhile, the advanced analysis type supports moment curvature, non-linear time history, along with non-linear pushover, progressive collapse and buckling.

The LARSA 4D Bridge Series can run integrity checks to identify typical bridge modeling errors and suggest solutions. You can generate graphs and project reports, use spreadsheets, and extend the software functionality with the help of macros.

Conclusion on bridge engineering software

Whether you’re a professional looking for a reliable software program or just someone passionate about bridge engineering designs, you can turn to the comprehensive applications on this list.

Wrapped in intuitive graphical interfaces, Midas Civil, CSiBridge, Autodesk Structural Bridge Design, and LARSA 4D Bridge Series come with the necessary design, analysis, and reporting tools to help you breathe life into your bridge modeling projects.