An eight-ton truck passed over a bamboo bridge in south China on Wednesday, marking the completion of the world's first bamboo road bridge, claimed the designers.
The bridge, 3.4 meters wide and nine meters long, looks like a concrete bridge from the top and side, but its nine bamboo girders can be seen from beneath and it is covered by bamboo boards.
It allows a maximum load of 90 tons with a service life of 20 to 30 years.
Fiberglass-reinforced plastics were also used in construction to ensure safety, said Xiao Yan, dean of the college of civil engineering of Hunan University, where the bridge was designed.
Villagers in Daozi town, Leiyang city, Hunan Province, were amazed by the bamboo bridge that workers took less than 10 days to assemble.
Parts of the bridge were made in a workshop before being transported to the town, said Dr. Shan Bo, a member of the design group.
Xiao Yan said bamboo could cut the cost of footbridges in cities and bridges in the countryside by half.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)