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Queen's University in Meccano bridge world record bid

By Valerie Edwards

Published 18/09/2015

The Meccano Bridge built by Queen's University civil engineering students at Clarendon Dock, Belfast. Pic: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.
The Meccano Bridge built by Queen's University civil engineering students at Clarendon Dock, Belfast. Pic: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.
The Meccano Bridge built by Queen's University civil engineering students at Clarendon Dock, Belfast. Pic: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.
The Meccano Bridge built by Queen's University civil engineering students at Clarendon Dock, Belfast. Pic: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.
The Meccano Bridge built by Queen's University civil engineering students at Clarendon Dock, Belfast. Pic: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker.

Engineering students from Queen's University are hoping to set a new world record after building a footbridge - made entirely from Meccano - that will span more than 100ft across Belfast's Clarendon dock.

The temporary Meccano bridge will be unveiled today and representatives from Guinness World Records will be on site to confirm if the bridge has earned the record for the world's largest ever Meccano construction.

To get the record, the bridge must be over 23 metres long and 12 metres wide. Nearly 11,000 pieces of Meccano were used to build the structure, which weighs 600kg (1,300lbs).

It was designed and built by more than 100 civil engineering students and local high school students.

The university hopes to encourage more children to think about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Dr Danny McPolin, a lecturer in civil engineering, spearheaded the year-long project, entitled The Big Bridge Build.

He said: "I wanted to do something more inspirational, push my students and set them a task that seemed impossible.

The bridge will be lit during the evenings of September 18-19, and dismantled on September 20.

The project received funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, AECOM, Meccano and Queen's Annual Fund with technical support and advice from McLaughlin and Harvey.

The results of the world record challenge will be announced at the bridge in Clarendon Dock on Saturday at 12.30pm.

The public is invited to go along and see for themselves - and create their own projects - at the build between 12pm and 3pm tomorrow.

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