Civil Engineering students set to build a record-breaking beer crates bridge

After eight years without undertaking an attempt, students of the University of Twente are trying to break the inofficial record of the tallest beer crate bridge. Nine students are preparing the construction of a bridge, consisting of beer crates, with a span of over 28 meters. The attempt will take place in November.

The idea of building a bridge consisting of beer crates is not new. In the last few years, a fierce battle between the students of the TU Delft and TU Eindhoven has arisen. The current record has been set in Eindhoven, constructing a bridge with a span of 26.69 meters. The last attempt in Twente took place in 2010. Now it's time to retrieve the record to Twente, the students say. Study association ConcepT has installed the CrateX commission, which is responsible for the organization of the construction.

Solid construction

Currently, the students are in preparation to make sure the attempt that will be held in the week of 12 November will be an success. Inofficial rules say the bridge need to be able to stand on its own for at least one hour, without any means of help like glue, duct tape or straps. This will be a major challenge, says ing. G.H. Snellink, who is a lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Twente. He is one of the advisors of the team. "There is no way that you can fix these crates together, which requires the help of pressure to build a solid construction." The current design is based on an arch bridge design of over 8,000 beer crates. If these were piled up, it would lead to a tower of 1,900 meters hgih, roughly six times the Eiffel Tower.

Week construction time

Large as the bridge will be, it is for sure that it cannot be build in a day. Students will be working for a week on the crate bridge. Snellink: "Coordination during the construction process will be a key factor. If they manage to get through that phase, there will be a good chance for success." After building for a week, the bridge should stand by itself for at least one hour. Students from 'rival' study associations will be in charge of the supervision that all will be done according to the guidelines. CrateX hopes to retain the record, but also to show future students of possible challenges outside the regular curricular activities.

More information on the attempt can be found on their website:

Study association has a long tradition in building bridges made of beer crates, like this attempt in 2005.

Laurens van der Velde
Press relations (available Mon-Fri)