Building bridges at Canal Walk

26 May 2002

A bridge over troubled waters: Learners at this year's bridge building competition.

LEARNERS from Higher Technical School Drostdy in Worcester broke all records with their construction in the bridge building competition held at Canal Walk recently.

The school's three learners designed and built a bridge that could hold an unparalleled load of 161.8 kg, and in so doing stole the Western Cape title from the 39 other competing schools. Their winning bridge also earned them a place in the national event in May.

The bridge building competition is organised each year by the South African Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE).

Partipants are provided with a few wooden sticks, glue and rope, and must assemble their bridges in about five hours using these bare essentials.

Bridges are judged on aesthetics – "they must look good" – and on the load they can carry in relation to their weight, explained UCT's Marianne Vanderschuren.

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