RJ Watson, Inc | 11035 Walden Ave | Alden, NY 14004 USA | PH: 716.901.7020 | | careers | contact us

POD Bridge Bearings

The POD bearing utilizes the proven reliable design technology used by the Disktron Bearing System.  The POD bearing design incorporates tighter tolerance design parameters to handle the higher braking and traction loads seen in high speed rail applications.

This spectacular Santiago Calatrava designed bridge required bearings with rotations on the order of 8% which is beyond the capacity of most devices. As a result Disktron Bearings modified for high rotations also known as Pod Bearings were utilized to provide this capability. This structure opened to traffic in March of 2012.


POD Bearings

Using Disktron Bearing System technology, the POD bearing design incorporates tighter tolerance design parameters to handle the higher braking and traction loads seen in high speed rail applications.

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Learn more about RJ Watson Bridge & Highway Products, earn Professional Development Hours and have a catered lunch on us!

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Polytron Disc – By utilizing a polyether urethane disc, the POD Bearing accommodates vertical design loads of 10 to 10,000 kips while maintaining its ability to provide rotation in both longitudinal and transverse directions.

SRM (Shear Resisting Mechanism) – A large diameter high strength steel pin transfers horizontal loads from the upper bearing plate to the baseplate and isolates shear loads from Polytron Disc.

PTFE – The PTFE to stainless steel sliding interface results in a very low coefficient of friction.

Polished Stainless Steel – Stainless steel with a mirror finish provides a low friction sliding interface for the PTFE.

  • Rotation capacity in excess of 0.08 radians
  • Low vertical deflection for single and multi-span structures 
  • Ability to handle ultra high braking and traction forces
  • Can accommodate all live to dead load ratios
  • Accommodates high vertical and horizontal loads
  • Maintains tight control of horizontal displacement of structure



The lower bearing plate of the POD bearing with a machined recess for the Polytron Disc. This disc does not require a sealing ring and can be designed to accommodate vertical  loads from 10 to 10,000 kips while maintain its ability to provide rotation in any direction.

The Shear Restriction Mechanism designed to accommodate guided  thermal expansion is being lowered onto the Polytron Disc. The top surface of this component is finished with a recessed and bonded PTFE.

The center guided sole plate with a polished stainless steel mirror finish provides a low friction sliding interface with the PTFE.

Testing Services

RJ Watson specializes in high load, large displacement, structural and mechanical testing

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POD Bearings may be modified for Fixed or Expansion Capabilities

Fixed Bearings

Expansion Bearings

RJ Watson is located outside of Buffalo, NY and  has a state of the art 70,000 square foot facility for engineering, fabrication and manufacturing of bearings, joints and other structural devices


RJ Watson provides at no cost or obligation engineering proposal on any project where you are interested in evaluating the benefits of the RJ Watson product line

No Cost/No Obligation Estimates

Our staff of experienced engineers will assist you with your proposals and will work within your tight time constraints.

RJ Watson’s in house operations include a fabrication shop with overhead cranes, heavy lifting capacities, certified welders, weld positioners, media blasting, machine shop and state of the art testing facility.



Notable Projects

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