If a bridge has a parapet that is nota fully solid block and resembles railings with posts, as the following image

bridge parapet

  • What is this type of parapet called?
  • What are the top, bottom, post, and hole of the railing-like structure called?



1 Answer 1


I do a lot of bridge inspections in Ontario, Canada following OSIM (Ontario Structural Inspection Manual). Based on your photo, I would hazard to guess this is an older style barrier system. I would break what you are looking at the side of the bridge into 3 separate components.

At the bottom you have a barrier or safety curb. That approximately 150-200 mm square protrusion at the base of the wall.

The wall itself I would call a parapet wall.

The part at the top I would call a post and railing or hand rail.

I would avoid calling it a post an open railing system as the wall is really solid and looks to be a solid connection with the deck. Meaning in a collision the load would be transferred down and directly to the deck. In a post and railing system the load gets transferred to the posts and the posts transfer it to the deck.


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