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Standard line symbol for a bridge

April 14 2009 | 3 comments
Categories: Symbology

I'm having a difficult time finding a standard line symbol for a bridge. I've found the symbol I'm looking for within the point symbol sets, but not for a line symbol. The problem with using the point symbol is that it will not follow the angle of the line. It will always display horizontally. ESRI must have standard line symbols to represent bridges. Please help me to find them.


Mapping Center Answer:

I can't tell exactly what you are expecting as a standard symbol for a bridge as there are any nubmer of ways in which these features are symbolized.  For example, the USGS uses wing-ticks at the ends of a double line road symbol (see "Part 6: Publication Symbols, Standards for 1:24,000- and 1:25,000-Scale Quadrangle Maps" on

To create this type of symbol, you would use the following steps: 

  1. Create a line symbol as a cartographic line symbol.
  2. Set the properties for the line to be a multi-layer line symbol with a thicker black line on the bottom and a thinner white line on top (this creates the cased road symbol that will appear between the wing-ticks.)
  3. Click the Line Properties tab.
  4. Select the last Line Decorations option (with arrows at each end of the line).
  5. Click the Properties button to change the line decoration from an arrow to a wing-tick.
  6. Click the Symbol button, then click the Properties button.
  7. Change the symbol to a Character Marker symbol, change the font to ESRI Oil, Gas, & Water, select the wing-tick symbol (Unicode 216).
  8. Change the size of the symbol to be what you want, and set the X offset so that the wing-tick moves further from the center. (For a 16 pt symbol, I set the offset to 4 pts.)
  9. Click OK to get all the way back out.

This is one type of bridge symbol; maybe it is sort of what you are looking for.  If not, try sending us an attachment that shows us what you want.

cartographic representations posted by David Barnes on Apr 15 2009 8:35AM
If you can use cartographic representations you might want to take a look at the Create Overpass and Create Underpass tools in ArcToolbox. See for some info on this.
excellent! posted by Ryann Runyan on Apr 17 2014 4:30PM
You idea and instructions helped me tremendously. Thank you kindly:)
Happy to help! posted by Aileen Buckley on Apr 18 2014 6:48AM
Glad you found this useful!

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