A unique road bridge has opened to traffic in the village of Shangxun, Hunan Province.
Its developers claim the bridge in the city of Leiyang is the world’s first truck-safe bamboo bridge.
(There is no suggestion that this is the first bamboo bridge. That in the picture is in Bali and bamboo bridges have been used in Asia since well before Confucius. I have driven a 5 tonne truck across a bamboo bridge in Malaysia so I think we should stress truly truck-SAFE rather than anything else.)
Yan Xiao, its chief architect and a professor at the University of Southern California, was keen to clarify a few details.
‘Of course, it isn’t traditional bamboo we’re talking about. The superstructure was all made of modern bamboo, processed with grayish silver-colored waterproof materials that combat the effects of the sun and rain.
‘With the majority of the structural elements prefabricated, the actual bridge was erected within a week, mostly by eight workers without any heavy construction equipment.’
While the bridge was designed to carry 8 tons, field tests have shown its actual capacity is about 90 tons, Xiao said.
English People’s Daily Online said the bridge was completed in late October and has a life expectancy of 20 years.
Xiao said bamboo bridges cost just half as much as equivalent steel ones.
Xiao said the technology is expected to become widely used for pedestrian overpasses and rural bridges, which are now mostly built from steel and concrete.
Bamboo is an environmentally friendly and sustainable material in Hunan. China has a lot of it.
You must log in to post a comment.