A girder bridge, in general, is a bridge that uses girders as the means of supporting the deck. A bridge consists of three parts: the foundation (abutments and piers), the superstructure (girder, truss, or arch), and the deck. A girder bridge is very likely the most commonly built and utilized bridge in the world. Its basic design, in the most simplified form, can be compared to a log ranging from one side to the other across a river or creek. In modern girder steel bridges, the two most common shapes are plate girders and box-girders. The term "girder" is often used interchangeably with "beam" in reference to bridge design. However, some authors define beam bridges slightly differently from girder bridges. A beam may be made of concrete or steel. Many shorter bridges, especially in rural areas where they may be exposed to water overtopping and corrosion, utilize concrete box beams. The term "girder" is typically used to refer to a steel beam.
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