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Codex Atlanticus, folios 69ar, 71v

Self-Supporting Bridge

Of all the bridges designed by Leonardo, the Self-Supporting Bridge is certainly the most ingenious in terms of constructional and structural simplicity.

We do not know if it found practical applications, but we believe that this modular solution, which was extremely easy to transport and put in place, found favour with the rulers of the time, who were always looking for new technologies to use for military purposes.
Once assembled, the weight of the bridge is sufficient to exert the necessary pressure for the upright beams to lock - closing in a scissor-like configuration - the crossbeams, preventing the structure from collapsing. The stability of this bridge increases as the load on the top increases.