AskDefine | Define footbridge

Dictionary Definition

footbridge n : a bridge designed for pedestrians [syn: overcrossing, pedestrian bridge]

User Contributed Dictionary



foot + bridge


  1. A bridge over a road, railway, river, etc for pedestrians.


bridge for pedestrians

Extensive Definition

A footbridge is a bridge designed for pedestrians and in some cases cyclists and horse riders, rather than vehicular traffic. An enclosed footbridge between two buildings is sometimes known as a skyway.
Footbridges are often situated to allow pedestrians to cross water or railways in areas where there are no nearby roads to necessitate a road bridge, They are also located across roads to let pedestrians cross safely without slowing down the traffic. The latter is a type of pedestrian separation structure, examples of which are particularly found near schools, to help prevent children running in front of moving cars.
Small footbridges can also be used for decorative effect in ornamental gardens.
Types of footbridge (which are not also types of road bridge) include:
Footbridges can also be built in the same ways as road or rail bridges; particularly suspension bridges and beam bridges. Some former road bridges have had their traffic diverted to alternative crossings and have become pedestrian bridges; examples in the UK include The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, Shropshire, the Old Bridge at Pontypridd and Windsor Bridge at Windsor, Berkshire.
Most footbridges are equipped with guard rails to reduce the risk of pedestrians falling. Where they pass over busy roads or railways, they may also include a fence or other such barrier to prevent pedestrians from jumping, or throwing projectiles onto the traffic below.


It was originally usual for passengers to cross from one railway platform to another by stepping over the tracks, but from the mid-nineteenth century onwards safety has demanded the provision of a footbridge (or underpass) at busier places.
clear left


Design of footbridges normally follows the same principles as for other bridges. However, because they are normally significantly lighter than vehicular bridges, they are more vulnerable to vibration and therefore dynamics effects are often given more attention in design.


footbridge in German: Fußgängerbrücke
footbridge in Japanese: 横断歩道橋
footbridge in Dutch: Voetgangersbrug
footbridge in Norwegian: Gangbro

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