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Front Page » November 22, 2011 » Carbon County News » The bridges of Eastern Utah
Published 1,412 days ago

The bridges of Eastern Utah

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That's 26 kilograms of weight suspended by Carbon High School's George Deeter -about 57.2 pounds. Considering that the bridge itself is only 100 grams of balsa wood and glue, it means the span is supporting not only itself but 260 times its own weight. Deeter is among 100 other students from high schools in Carbon, Emery and Grand counties and USU Eastern taking part in the college's bridge building competition. There are strict rules for the budding engineers. The bridges cannot contain any support materials other than the wood and glue, can't be more than 80 millimeters in width and no taller than 250 mm above the support surfaces. Every bridge, including Deeter's is, ultimately destroyed. Students who pass this first test graduate to the finals: having to support a 5-gallon bucket that is gradually filled with weight plates until the bridge fails. So every few minutes during the competition, there's a crash that resounds through old college ballroom as bridge after bridge snaps and sends the bucket of weights slamming into the stage.

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November 22, 2011
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