In summary, it looks like the future has two faces, as far as bridges are concerned.
- The mass-produced bridge built to standardised designs using cheap and readily available materials like concrete and steel. 'Functionality' is the keyword where quantity is concerned, and 'quantity' is the keyword when a typical stretch of new motorway can require building a new bridge every mile or so. We can expect to see dull but dependable beam bridges across our roads and railways for a good while yet.
- The 'one-off' iconic bridge, such as those commissioned for Millennium projects throughout the world. Many cities like the idea of building an innovative bridge to symbolise their modern outlook and their openness to certain ideas of the future. These 'one-off' bridges are often designed as much for their form as for their function, and public competitions are frequently held to choose a suitably impressive-looking addition to the city skyline. Eco-friendly planners away from the City also like the idea of Nature being complemented by high-tech, low-impact bridge designs.