Leonardo da Vinci’s Golden Horn Bridge was designed in 1502. It’s finally being constructed, however as the amazing Renaissance figure originally wanted the structure to cross the Bosphorus River in Istanbul, its construction is actually occuring in Juuka, Finland. Also instead of building the bridge from stone, as per the original plans, the engineers running the construction are using ice and paper.
Crossing a 35 meter (115 feet) span over a quarry the “Bridge in Ice” will be the largest ice bridge ever built and is expected to be finished by the 13th of February. This may vary as it is dependant on the weather, with the possibility of unusual heat increasing the possibility of the bridge not freezing fast enough to hit the deadline.
However the conditions have been ideal to date, with temperatures in Juuka around the -30°C (-22°F) range since the project started on December 28, 2015. To build the structure, about 150 university students from the Eindhoven University of Technology are building in around the clock, ensuring heavy equipment is not left to freeze.
The structure is being built using ice and paper fibers, which esure it is about three times stronger and 20 times more flexible than normal ice. The team are applying very thin layers of the water and paper onto the surface of a huge inflatable mould, at which point it the water freezes instantly. Once there is sufficient stability for the ice to stand on its own, the balloon like mould is taken away.
Once complete, the structure will be open to the public. The team plans to drive a car over the structure during the opening. When the ice finally melts, the paper will be utilized as compost.