Present-day speeds and efficiency in handling enormous tonnages of bulk materials, such as coal, coke, ore, crushed stone, etc., have been made possible only by the development of modern types of material-handling bridges. Such bridge structures now seem to be absolutely essential in the operation of coal docks, blast furnaces, and steel plants for unloading, stocking, and reloading the bulky raw materials of industry. Since they are so indispensable, it follows that their protection against all possible causes of loss or damage becomes of vital importance. By reason of their great length and height, such bridges present large wind-resistive areas, making them particularly susceptible to windstorm damage. This paper discusses some of the factors of design and construction that affect the safety of these structures, and describes and discusses the special equipment designed to increase the operating safety of bridges. The author tells of the development of material-handling bridges, and their constructional elements, so that the more specific features of bridge protection against storm damage may be better understood.

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