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Lego span

The world’s longest span bridge made of Lego needed a lift, and Coates Hire was there to help.

When Monash University demonstrated the work of engineers during this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, they built a bridge. But this bridge wasn’t the kind that cars or trains travel on – it was a span bridge made of 250,000 pieces of Lego.

The 35 metre-long scale model of the span bridge over the Severn River in the UK was originally created in 2016 by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). It was displayed in London where it set a Guinness World Record for the longest span bridge built of Lego and has since been broken down and rebuilt in several countries to demonstrate what it is that engineers do and why it is such a rewarding career.

During March the bridge was brought to Melbourne by Monash University, ICE, Victoria innovation agency Veski, the British Department for International Trade and the Office of the Chief Engineer of Victoria. It was assembled by Monash Industry Team Initiative (MITI) at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre’s basketball courts, and it took a team of ten people two weeks to assemble.

Paul McDonough, Manager of Coates Hire’s Registered Training Organisation, says the Lego bridge travels in four large pallets that add up to around 720 kilograms of plastic bricks. It required a transport and materials-handling operation to shift the bridge from the warehouse location to the MSAC basketball courts, where the MITI team assembled it under supervision of Monash’s engineering faculty.

“We’re happy to make available our trucks and people to these educational events,” says McDonough, whose RTO operations covers the training spectrum from safety and competency, to inductions and apprentices.

“Monash and MITI brought the Lego bridge to Melbourne to showcase engineering and to give young people an idea of where an engineering education can take them.

“Coates Hire is committed to the upskilling and education of the workforce and we were pleased to be involved in the Lego bridge initiative.”

The Lego bridge was displayed at MSAC until March 18 and will be further showcased in November at the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne.

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