Vienna engineers have developed an extremely practical folding bridge

A new approach to the construction of bridges was demonstrated last week by specialists at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), who connected the banks of the river with the help of an engineering structure that unfolds to the sides like an umbrella. The idea was patented back in 2006, but only 14 years later, it was finally embodied in "hardware".

The structure consists of hollow beams installed on a special pier and interconnected at the top. To be placed on supports, they are hydraulically pivoted gently in opposite directions until they are in a horizontal position.

In the next step, the hollow beams are filled with concrete, forming the main structural components of the bridge. According to the developers, this approach provides the bridge with the same strength as traditional structures, but significantly reduces construction time and costs.

“Building bridges using scaffolding usually takes months, ” explains one of the project participants Johann Colleger. “Our structural elements can be installed in two to three days, and the deployment process itself will take about three hours.”