Tag: bridge pontoon (wood)

Wikipedia says: A pontoon bridge (or ponton bridge), also known as a floating bridge, uses floats or shallow-draft boats to support a continuous deck for pedestrian and vehicle travel. The buoyancy of the supports limits the maximum load that they can carry.

Most pontoon bridges are temporary and used in wartime and civil emergencies.

In 1862 the Union forces commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside were stuck on the wrong side of the Rappahannock River at the Battle of Fredericksburg for lack of the arrival of the pontoon train resulting in severe losses. The report of this disaster resulted in Britain forming and training a Pontoon Troop of Engineers.

During the American Civil War various forms of pontoon bridges were tried and discarded. Wooden pontoons and India rubber bag pontoons shaped like a torpedo proved impractical until the development of cotton-canvas covered pontoons, which required more maintenance but were lightweight and easier to work with and transport. From 1864 a lightweight design known as Cumberland Pontoons, a folding boat system, were widely used during the Atlanta Campaign to transport soldiers and artillery across rivers in the South.

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