ICE’s interlocking plastic brick bridge was exhibited as the centrepiece of an education programme located in the city’s cathedral.
ICE’s world record-breaking bridge made of interlocking plastic bricks came to Rochester to help inspire the next generation of civil engineers.
The structure, which broke the Guinness World Record in 2019, was displayed at Rochester Cathedral in Kent, south-east England throughout August.
It served as the centrepiece for a month-long programme of free hands-on educational activities run by Rochester Bridge Trust.
Holding the longest span made from interlocking plastic bricks in the world, the bridge has a record span of 16.92 metres, is 34 metres long and contains over 205,000 bricks.
This was the first time the ICE displayed the bridge since 2019, when it was exhibited at Ironbridge Gorge Museum to celebrate its official status as a world record breaker.
To celebrate the collaboration, the ICE’s director general Nick Baveystock attended the official launch.
Sharing his thanks with both Rochester Cathedral and Rochester Bridge Trust, Baveystock continued that he was “very happy” to see the bridge back on public display “where it belongs”. He noted that it would help to inspire the next generation of civil engineers after its three-year hiatus.
Visitors of the attraction, young and old, also expressed their joy at seeing the bridge once again.
A civil engineer for over 30 years, one on-looker explained that Lego were the reason they became fascinated with civil engineering as a child.
“Getting them for Christmas allowed me to build all kinds of structures and this bridge is a perfect example of that,” they said.
The ICE South East Regional Committee also got involved, creating a campaign so visitors of the cathedral could donate their toy bricks to a local primary school.
Committee member and governess of the primary school, Philippa Jefferies explained: “The donations will be used to help introduce a new generation to the world of civil engineering, just as they did for me when I was a child.”
“They are already being put to good use, with students playing with them during their breaks and after school, building bridges, buildings, roads and a wide variety of different structures. Thank you so much to all those who donated,” Jefferies said.
Back in 2019
The bridge went on display at Enginuity in Telford and stretched the length of the museum at its Coalbrookdale site.
The structure beat the then-existing record of a span of 16.46m, which was achieved by the ICE on 5 September 2016.
Enginuity was chosen by ICE for this world record attempt because both organisations are dedicated to inspiring engineers of the future with engineers of the past.
Commenting on the partnership with the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Jo Barnett, regional director ICE West Midlands, said: “Enginuity welcomes children from all over the country and the hope is that the bridge and additional activities will encourage more children to consider civil engineering as a profession.”
“Civil engineers really do shape the world and touch every part of our lives. It is truly an exciting sector to be involved in,” she said.