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Students build world’s longest ice bridge

Bridge in ice render

A Leonardo da Vinci design has inspired a team of European students to build a 65m long reinforced bridge of ice.

A completion date has been set for February 13, when a car will be put on the bridge to demonstrate its strength.

Students and staff of the Built Environment department Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands will construct the bridge in the Finnish town of Jukka using around 900 tons of ice and working in shifts to prevent the equipment freezing. The University previously built the world’s largest ice dome.

Of the construction material, 2% paper fibre is added to increase the strength of the ice by three times. The bridge is based upon a 1502 design by Leonardo da Vinci for a bridge over the Bosporus that was never built. The ice bridge has the same construction principle as that of Da Vinci’ in that the only load on the whole structure is compression.

The bridge will take centre stage at an ice festival in Jukka. In total around 150 students and volunteers from all around Europe are taking part in the project. The project is sponsored by companies including Arcadis and Mammoet.

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