Testing a “carboard” pedestrian bridge


From the infamous Roman aqueduct of the Pont-du-Gard…
…to Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s cardboard bridge

Always on the watch for extraordinary challenges, Compagnie MECO accepted a solicitation from its partner DEKRA and was able to come up with the best solution for the testing of a cardboard pedestrian bridge before its opening to the public.

Mission Objectives

Carry out under different configurations a load test of 1,5 tonnes on an ephemeral pedestrian bridge across the Gard river, right in the middle of the countryside. This structure, made of braced-constructed post-tensioned/stressed paper, weighs 7,5 tonnes, is composed of 281 cardboard pipes that are 11,9 mm thick with a 11,5 cm diameter and each contains a threaded rod.


Testing conditions prescribed by the architect only.

Solutions Implemented


DEKRA INDUSTRIAL was in charge of devising the load-testing procedure following the contracting authority recommendation, taking measurements and issuing a report.

By Compagnie MECO

Compagnie MECO was in charge of supplying and implementing a “Gangway Kit” including cylindrical Waterbags of a 200 to 350 kg capacity. Such elements are filled up with water to obtain the required load with the help of a surface pump. This kind of load presents a significant advantage: it can be set up on inclined surfaces and adapt to the shape of steps without any damage to the structure.

Duration of the mission

Mission carried out in 1 day.

Qualities Acknowledged by the Commissioner

- Reactivity, ability to deal with an unusual structure.
- An innovative solution that was particularly well-adapted to the specific requirements of this particular load test.
- Quality of both the work carried out on site and the mission report.