Bridges have fascinated mankind throughout the ages. Bridges have been symbols of art, science, architecture, commerce, and engineering skill. As well, bridges have symbolized links between people, communities, and nations. Strategic and tactical bridges have been important for extending power and influence. This course looks at the development of bridge building from earliest days to modern times. We will explore the various bridge building materials including wood, stone, iron, steel and concrete and how they have influenced bridge design over time. We will also explore the various bridge forms such as span, arch, truss, suspension, and how they developed with the available materials and technical knowledge of the day. Learn how bridges work as an engineered system to provide both utility and beauty. We will explore how with daring, skill and determination the builders overcame the physical and political obstacles to create lasting monuments to civilization. Students will come away with a better understanding of how bridges work, how and why they were built and the people who built them. Students will also look at bridges in new ways knowing the underlying beauty of design and structure.