Help support TMP

"Top Of Modern BRIDGES As Post Apocalyptic Shelters?" Topic

55 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Terrain and Scenics Message Board

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board

Back to the Modern Discussion (1946 to 2007) Message Board

7,851 hits since 17 Mar 2010
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2010 11:44 p.m. PST

1) Could modern bridge supports like these endure and become permanent elevated shelters for post apocalyptic survivors living near water (shelter from post apocalyptic bandits and pirates)?


2) Are there similar modern uses of abandoned bridges and highway overpasses in third world countries TODAY (as permanent shelters)? Perhaps shanties?

3) Has anyone ever tried to use bridge and/or highway overpass sections in their modern or post apocalyptic GAMING?


TMP link
TMP link
TMP link

rdjktjrfdj Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 12:01 a.m. PST

No time to look for more before TMP closes

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2010 1:30 a.m. PST


Know of any that have taken over the tops?


majormike69 Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 2:41 a.m. PST

In Europe under many motorway overpasses you can see little steel doors.
Seemingly this was where the demolition charges were to be placed in time of invasion.
I was in one years ago and there just seemed to be a tiny room. Could be a good place to hideout?

AndrewGPaul Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 3:35 a.m. PST

William Gibson's Virtual Light features the shanty town atop the Golden Gate Bridge as a significant location in the novel. IIRC, the bridge is intact bu derelict, and the supports and cables were gradually colonised by the marginal elements of society.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 4:10 a.m. PST

In much the same vein, where I grew up there was an enormous concrete water-tower situated in the grounds of a former sanitarium. We used to climb it for a dare – there was an access door at the top (firmly locked!) so presumably some sort of valve room or maintenance room behind it, and an accessible platform on the roof.

Limited accomodation, then, but unbeatable vantage, water supply, and totally zombie-proof.

Wellspring Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 4:34 a.m. PST

Bridges are early targets in war. In the event of rampant flooding, they are right above sea level and their foundations are below the water line. They require constant maintenance (as your pics suggest). Finally, they are obviously built right on the obvious trade routes-- maybe a good place to camp out and conduct overwatch on a ferry service, but not good as a hide-out from vicious punk gangs with Australian accents.

So while they might be inhabited immediately after TEOTWAWKI, They're unlikely to be useful as long-term accomodations.

Red358418 Mar 2010 6:29 a.m. PST

Certainly in Fallout 3 you often come across camps of scavengers on top of the remains of flyovers…admittedly these don't consist of much more than some tents but it seems like the same idea […I usually end up falling off the bridge when trying to shoot it out/run away from them!]

Dropzonetoe Fezian18 Mar 2010 6:54 a.m. PST

Fallout 3 was the first thing I thought of when I saw the topic. Also don't forget Johnny Mnemonic had one too.

Personal logo richarDISNEY Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2010 7:03 a.m. PST

Yup…. I as gunna mention Johnny Mnemonic too…
Pretty cool, except for that whole "dolphin running the show" thing…

Bob Applegate18 Mar 2010 7:05 a.m. PST

Well, there are Roman bridges still surviving (and in use), so I suppose modern bridges could survive as well. Depending on how well made they are.

plutarch 6418 Mar 2010 8:08 a.m. PST

This is one of our local bridges in Brisbane – apartments at both ends, and possibly still inhabited, as far as I know:




Hexxenhammer Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 8:33 a.m. PST

William Gibson's Virtual Light features the shanty town atop the Golden Gate Bridge

Beat me to it. I was just looking at my copy a couple days ago. It takes place in the far future of 2005!

La Long Carabine Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 8:49 a.m. PST

Well, there are Roman bridges still surviving (and in use), so I suppose modern bridges could survive as well. Depending on how well made they are.

Romans did not use rebar in their concrete structures. The rebar, being made of iron, will start to rust at some point. In rusting, it expands and causes cracks in the concrete. Cracks allow more water to cause more rust, which causes more cracking….I think you get the picture. It is a race to see if the concrete or rebar fail first.

Grossly over simplified explanation, but, concrete structures with no rebar can out last a concrete made with rebar.

LLC aka Ron

momoiro kakaricho Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 9:11 a.m. PST

It's not a modern bridge, but there's Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2010 9:46 a.m. PST


Wow. That is quite a sight to behold:


Now, if there was something like it on an abandoned modern bridge today . . .


(I make fun of others) Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 9:53 a.m. PST

This is one of our local bridges in Brisbane apartments at both ends, and possibly still inhabited, as far as I know:

Nothing like a nice quiet apartment away from all the traffic noise. grin

Apparently the apartments were formerly toll offices, and turned into apartments as a sort of gimmick:

plutarch 6418 Mar 2010 10:36 a.m. PST

OK, only inhabited at the northern end, then.

rdjktjrfdj Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 11:02 a.m. PST

Did not read your question thoroughly the first time.
This link Egyptian one is the only one I know of. Doesn't look post-apocalyptic.

Paintbeast Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 11:38 a.m. PST

There are a couple of damaged and abandoned bridges in the Florida Keys that regularly host Cuban squatters. Some of the bridges were washed out in hurricanes, and one was just never completed. I knew to look it up because a buddy of mine who was in the Coast Guard used to patrol that area and had a wealth of stories…squatters, smugglers, even a meth lab.

I can't seem to find anything other than legal documents, blog commentaries, and rantings on this particular case; however, if you do a search on "Florida keys abandoned bridge squatters" you may have more luck.

La Long Carabine Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 12:25 p.m. PST

Futuristic and not apocalyptic but interesting.


LLC aka Ron

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian18 Mar 2010 12:30 p.m. PST

Several bridges in London and other major cities in Europe lined with shops and apartments. The one across the river in Florence is perhaps the best preserved.

Tactically, the same things that would make a bridge defensible are also the same things that make it difficult. While the ends of a bridge make it a natural choke point for defense, the fact that the entire length could be targeted from the flanks make the whole bridge vulnerable if the enemy has firepower. In addition, any tall structures in the immediate vicinity make it easy to pour fire down upon the defenders – with very little room for cover.

If the ends have been dropped, and the bridge is an "island" then not only is it hard for attackers to get to you, but it's hard for the inhabitants to get anywhere. Sure, that rope bridge might work for people, but not for bringing in heavy supplies.

You might be able to make a go of it if there are schools of fish – or you can set up a fish farm in the water below. But, that supposes that the water and everything in it aren't toxic. Farming is hampered due to lack of available space – as well as soil. A modern bridge could serve as sort of a redoubt with a very large moat, if you will and the farming done on-shore. But, you'd better be able to store your supplies on the bridge itself in case of siege and hope they don't bring howitzers or siege machines.

If you have any sort of weather – especially a freeze-thaw cycle – your home is only temporary. Bridges freeze before the rest of the surrounding landscape and any water that gets into cracks will expand and break up the roadbed or the structure itself. In some northern states you can actually watch the concrete spall when a bridge's maintenance has been neglected.


Timbo W18 Mar 2010 4:50 p.m. PST

Pultney Bridge in Bath is still doing well,


Old London Bridge, not so well…


Tower Bridge would be fun though -


Artraccoon Inactive Member18 Mar 2010 9:11 p.m. PST

In one of my Syd Mead books there's a really cool painting he did as concept art for "Johnny Mnemonic" of the "Lo-Teks" derelict bridge hideout…actually much cooler looking that what came out in the film. If someone decides to model and game with such a setting, hopefully they won't forget the "VW Beetle Bomb"!!

In a alternate history/steampunk/jetpunk or future setting, there's that drawing by Hugh Ferriss from 1929 of a proposal by Raymond Hood of apartment towers on a bridge. Imagine instead of the regular towers and bases of a suspension bridge, they've been replaced with 1920's style skyscrapers(with an archway over the road) and with boat & seaplane docks at the base. If you want to see it find a copy of "Architectural Visions , The Drawings Of Hugh Ferriss" by Jean Ferriss Leich. There's lots other of cool ideas in there as well!! And I'm pretty sure some Ferriss' works can be found as images on the internets.

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Mar 2010 7:09 p.m. PST

I think "Tomorrow" is the one you're thinking of Atraccoon



Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2010 3:20 a.m. PST

If one was going to make shelters on top of bridges, why not on a couple of freeway sections, right?


TMP link
TMP link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2010 9:05 p.m. PST


Is this the one you mean?



War Monkey04 Apr 2010 9:33 p.m. PST

No Dan I think this is what Paintbeast is talking about link

28mmMan Inactive Member05 Apr 2010 7:24 a.m. PST

Here is an interesting housing plan that would allow for housing anywhere…on old bridges, on top of buildings, etc. PDF link picture picture picture picture so it is easy to see how commonly found after the fall materials could be used to make these in less bright a cheery colors :)

made on 55gal drums picture
just a bit odd picture

War Monkey05 Apr 2010 8:18 a.m. PST

Oh yeah, 28mmMan, these look simple to produce in 15mm, picture not just for AP but for a lot of other gaming too! Good find!


28mmMan Inactive Member05 Apr 2010 9:06 a.m. PST

I live to serve and serve to live :)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2010 9:17 a.m. PST

LOL. Sounds like something an alien cook would say in "To Serve Man".


28mmMan Inactive Member05 Apr 2010 11:34 a.m. PST
War Monkey05 Apr 2010 6:35 p.m. PST

Okay here's a whole list of abandoned or unfinished bridges
link worth a good look.

28mmMan Inactive Member05 Apr 2010 8:35 p.m. PST

Nice War Monkey, I especially like this one picture for the prospect of post apoc potentials.

War Monkey05 Apr 2010 9:08 p.m. PST


War Monkey05 Apr 2010 9:16 p.m. PST

Here is a bridge that was abandon, someone started building a hose on it and abandon it too! link
and here is a historic listing of all bridges, this will take some time to look through it all.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2010 12:48 p.m. PST

Imagine some of these defenses (sandbags, wrecked cars, etc.) on top of a highway bridge:



Drakken52 Inactive Member23 Jun 2010 4:35 a.m. PST

Great picture, Cacique Caribe, Where did it come from?

lollerkeet Inactive Member23 Jun 2010 5:54 a.m. PST

They make the note in Life After People ( link ) that bridges need perpetual repainting to avoid rust. So it would work, but long term you would also need a very good supply of paint.

That series is a must watch for anyone interested in post-apocalyptics.

flicking wargamer Inactive Member25 Jun 2010 10:23 a.m. PST

There are quite a few railroad bridges in the eastern US built in the mid to late 1800's that are still there, sometimes still in use. These are stone bridges and will last with little maintenance for a long time. They are too costly to demolish so they sit.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2010 11:39 a.m. PST

Even a semi-collapsed bridge could provide elevated shelter from roaming bands or dangerous animals (zoo escapees).

And if you're trying to avoid flying terminator HK units from finding you with their infrared, perhaps sheltering under a bridge is the way to go:


These might work for 15mm:



Sargonarhes26 Jun 2010 12:24 p.m. PST

But even over time without maintainance even the modern bridges will collapse. Those old Roman bridges are still around because they built them right the first time, out of materials that are known to withstand the elements.

descartes Inactive Member26 Jun 2010 12:29 p.m. PST

Not a good place to live if you're a sleep walker.

Cog Comp Inactive Member26 Jun 2010 11:44 p.m. PST

I wouldn't think the TOP of bridges would be particularly good places to be unless one could supply the bridge in some fashion during a siege. Castles usually had postern gates/doors, etc. That could be used to sneak in/out of the castle. One would need to think about this for a bridge.

Also, modern bridges tend to require a LOT of maintenance. Particularly if they were built during the 60s/70s, when materials had not caught up with the engineering methods beginning to be employed.

It could work in a setting as in Virtual Light where society was more or less intact, but these interstitial spaces began to be populated by overcrowding or poverty. That way, there is still a society that can help keep the bridge in modest upkeep, yet enough anarchy within the society to allow for the virtual independence of the society living in such a space.

28mmMan Inactive Member27 Jun 2010 9:05 a.m. PST

What could be interesting in a more Mad Max-ish setting where there is fuel but few people and less societal structure, is the use of the excess cars/trucks to create vast barriers and walls around high points like the clover overpasses picture

Use the high points to establish solar water heating (with black hose if nothing else) for bathing and filtering, solar power setups if available, watch towers, getting off the ground (dogs, filth, dirt, garbage, zombies, ghouls, etc.), etc..

Use the structure of the overpasses to build onto, spanning between the supports, hanging from the underside, etc.. Light weight materials layered to create networks of hammocks and tents.

There is potential.

Making use of the tractor trailers, vehicles, and whatever else can be brought in…concrete rubble, mud, etc.. Walls, bunkers, and more.

Or use the high ground to establish farming efforts if the lower area is flooded, poisoned, or otherwise ugly.

In the short term I think it would be fun.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2010 8:24 a.m. PST

Zoom on this pic.


Does it look as if part of the top of it (upper right) is some sort of bridge stronghold?

PS. This is not the top, but it looks cool:

28mmMan Inactive Member09 Jul 2010 8:33 a.m. PST

Looks more like a shanty/shack/lean to sort of thing.

Most eye catching for me was the cool gun…then distracting as I could see a round jam coming up in just a few shots…look at all those crooked rounds in the linkage feed belt.

The real issue of an artist not knowing anything about what they are painting…sigh :)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2011 11:13 p.m. PST

How about an airstrip?



bookim02 Feb 2011 8:27 p.m. PST

Cacique Caribe

Now that picture of the airstrip lends itself to all sorts of gaming ideas. I like it and now I'm thinking about doing something like that up.

Pages: 1 2