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Bridge Over Rising Water

In 2002, severe flooding in Central Europe left millions isolated. Soon, however, a floating aluminum bridge could help keep flood-prone communities connected. The modular one-lane highway can be assembled in just three days. A 70-meter prototype was built on a lake in the Netherlands; 18 factory-built sections were slotted together on site. Polystyrene foam inside each section makes the road unsinkable, and foam-filled outriggers increase stability. Cars can cross the road at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Rural Dutch communities are considering a longer-term deployment of the road, which was developed by a consortium of Dutch companies. There’s also interest from Norway and eastern Europe, where it can take up to three years to build a conventional road across waterlogged land.

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