It was only temporary, but so much in life is. A paper bridge, created by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, crossed the Gardon river near Remoulin, in southern France for a couple of months last year. A bridge made of paper doesn't sound very sturdy, but don't let preconceptions fool you.
The bridge was built to mimic the arches of the Roman-constructed and UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard bridge, which is half a mile away. Unlike the original bridge, which is made of stone, Ban's bridge was made up of 281 recycled cardboard tubes held together by recycled plastic. The tubes were waterproofed and anchored in wooden boxes filled with sand.
Although the bridge was strong enough to hold ten people at a time, it wasn't tough enough to withstand seasonal downpours, so it was taken down last Fall. However, Ban, a big fan of paper architecture, has promised to ressurect it when he can, hopefully this summer. RM