Beer crate bridge collapses at the very last moment

The members of the KOers Beer Crate Bridge committee came so close that they could almost smell a new world record. Their 40-meter long bridge made of beer crates, which they managed to build over the past month with the help of several volunteers, seemed to function just fine up to the very last moment. But the construction collapsed, much to the regret of its builders.

The members of study association KOers spent weeks working on their beer crate bridge. They were assisted by a large group of volunteers as they continued to work in the burning sun and sometimes late into the night. Alas, to no avail. Just when the bridge stood almost completely unaided, the construction started to show cracks. And when the first crates came tumbling down, the committee decided to topple the bridge in a controlled way.

Up to that point, the bridge seemed to remain upright, committee member Naomi Vastenhout says. Throughout the entire process, she kept Cursor informed about the progress (see video). The engineers were supposed to remove the scaffoldings at three in the afternoon yesterday, but they were still there almost two hours later. “At that point, the bridge still rested on two scaffoldings that were close to the buttresses,” Vastenhout says. “We were able to draw these down somewhat and that is what we were doing, but then we identified critical points in the remaining parts of the construction.”

Most of the builders hadn’t factored in this scenario that far into the construction process. The committee itself even expected the bridge to stand completely unaided before three in the afternoon, since everything seemed to run smoothly. That is why everyone was extra disappointed when the bridge eventually had to be demolished. At least twenty meters of the span stood fully free from the scaffoldings for a large part of the day.

Rijk Blok

Just before the scaffoldings were supposed to be removed from the bridge, the committee took a moment to remember the recently deceased assistant professor and constructor Rijk Blok. Everyone present at the construction site observed a minute’s silence to commemorate him.

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