A team of Eindhoven University students has travelled to Finland to work on building the world’s longest ever bridge made of ice.
The 65-metre long bridge is based on a Leonardo da Vinci design for a bridge over the Bosphorus which was never used. It will have a free span of 35 metres and once completed in mid-February, the team hope to prove its strength by driving over it in a car
The students working on the bridge will work in round-the-clock shifts for seven weeks. The bridge will be made with water with 2% paper fibre, which, the team says, makes the water in its frozen state ‘three times as strong as normal ice, and ten times as tough’.
The students spray this water in thin layers onto an inflated balloon that serves as a mould and it freezes almost instantly. Once the structure is strong enough, the balloon is removed. The paper fiber that remains after the ice has melted in the spring will be used as compost.
In total, around 150 students and volunteers from all over Europe will be making the trip to Juuka to build the bridge. Forty-five companies are also participating in the project.
The bridge is the third ‘ice project’ in Finland by the students and staff from Eindhoven. In 2014 they built the world’s largest ice dome (30 meters across) and this year, an ice church inspired by the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.