Future of bridge construction forming at University of Maine

Published: Aug. 8, 2018 at 8:15 PM EDT
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Folks at the University of Maine broke a bridge Wednesday...

On purpose.

Researchers at the school received more than half of a 14-million dollar grant to form the Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center.

Translation, the money is using advancing technology to build strong, easily deployed bridges.

And it appears they've accomplished it.

The test pushed the bridge as far as it could go with a weight load until it broke...

"The design load for a highway bridge is exceeded by a factor of seven and a half times," said Dr. Habib Dagher, Executive Director. "Which is what we designed this for. So it is seven and a half times stronger than the code requires right now and it's more than three times the strength of a typical highway steel concrete bridge."

"Our transportation infrastructure truly is crumbling and if we can come up with ways to rebuild it more quickly, more securely, and have it last longer and cost less that is a winning formula," said Sen. Susan Collins.

The next plan is to build a bridge twice as long and test that design.

The overall goal is that this new lighter, cheaper, stronger technology will become the standard for bridge building.

UMaine beat out MIT for this grant.