Truck-safe bamboo bridge opens in China

Dec 12, 2007
Truck-safe bamboo bridge opens in China
The 10 meter long modern bamboo bridge under 8 ton traffic loading testing. Credit: Yan Xiao

In China bamboo is used for furniture, artwork, building scaffolding, panels for concrete casting and now, truck bridges.

Yan Xiao, a professor at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering is the designer of a new span in the village of Leiyang, Hunan Province, which formally opens for traffic December 12.

Made from pre-fabricated structural elements, the bridge was erected within a week by a team of eight workers without heavy construction equipment. While traffic on the Leiyang bridge will be limited to the 8-ton design capacity, preliminary tests on a duplicate bridge erected on the campus of Hunan University have shown much higher strength – tests are continuing.

The new bridge is the latest installment in research on structural bamboo being carried on by Xiao, who in addition to his appointment at the USC Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Enviornmental Engineering holds an appointment at the College of Civil Engineering of the Hunan University, China.

Last year, Xiao demonstrated a high capacity bamboo footbridge, which was a featured attraction at a recent conference organized by Xioa in Changsha, China.

Prof. Xiao expects his modern bamboo bridge technology to be widely used in pedestrian crossing, large number of bridges in rural areas in China, as a environmental friendly and sustainable construction material. Besides bridges, Xiao’s team has also built a mobile house using similar technology they developed.

Meanwhile, they are also constructing a prototype 250 square meter, two-story single-family house, similar to the lightweight wood frame houses widely built in California, where Dr. Xiao lives.

Source: University of Southern California

Explore further: Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Firm combines 3-D printing with ancient foundry method

Mar 27, 2015

A century-old firm that's done custom metal work for some of the nation's most prestigious buildings has combined 3-D printing and an ancient foundry process for a project at the National Archives Building in Washington, ...

Wearable device helps vision-impaired avoid collision

Mar 26, 2015

People who have lost some of their peripheral vision, such as those with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, or brain injury that causes half visual field loss, often face mobility challenges and increased likelihood ...

Applications of optical fibre for sensors

Mar 26, 2015

Mikel Bravo-Acha's PhD thesis has focused on the applications of optical fibre as a sensor. In the course of his research, conducted at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, he monitored a sensor fitted to optical fibre ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nilbud
not rated yet Dec 12, 2007
Anyone want to drive over it in twenty years time?
lengould100
not rated yet Dec 17, 2008
I know of wooden bridges of similar span here in N America which have been supporting heavier loads for nearly 100 years now. I understand bamboo is more resilient than the softwoods typically used in bridges here.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.