Pioneering Project: 十五米吊桥

Written by Jason Zhang and Kaleb Phoon, Edited by Chey Jedd

Over the course of the November and December school holidays, the Secondary 3 Scouts worked on various batch projects involving pioneering, one of which was to design and construct a bridge. Each Scout was excited to proceed with the bridge project as it would be a symbol of their three years of scouting.

Preparing to reach new ground

Before the Scouts even came down to begin construction of the bridge, they first had to plan out a feasible and new bridge design that they could construct. After multiple brainstorming sessions and drafts, they came up with a practical yet aesthetically interesting design which they named 十五米吊桥.

A suspension system supports the whole bridge, carrying the load of the bridge on its own and the load of any person walking on the bridge. From there, it was a matter of expanding the bridge. To extend the length of the whole platform, 4 poles were sheared together instead of 3 for a normal suspension bridge.

To accommodate the new load of the extended bridge, 2 new supporting frames were added. These two frames consist of 1 M-frame and 1-W frame which helped to support the weight of the whole bridge. These frames were also strategically positioned to help add to the aesthetic of the bridge.

In the first session, the Sec 3 Scouts started by preparing all the resources and equipment needed for the bridge. Although it was constantly raining, the Scouts persevered and did not give up, managing to prepare the resources ahead of time and completing a significant portion of the bridge. They managed to complete the mainframe which the whole structure would revolve around and also prepared some of the necessary parts for the structure.

Going the distance

Over the next two sessions, the Scouts built and raised up the other supporting frames which included the M-frames and the W-frames. The whole span of the structure simply grew in length as they raised these frames and added in the platforms.

This meant that when they had anchored everything down and finished the suspension system, the whole bridge had a total estimated length of 15 metres. Being the longest bridge that the Troop had built for the past few years, it instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment into the Scouts as they took a photo in front of the massive structure that they had completed.

Overcoming challenges

However, throughout the construction of the bridge, there were also some problems that the Scouts were required to solve. For example, the whole bridge started to lean towards a certain direction because of its weight and the slight gradient of the ground that it was built on.

To solve this, a rope was tied onto the bridge before being pulled and anchored down into the ground to help the bridge stay perpendicularly upright. Nevertheless, such issues were resolved quickly on the spot by the Scouts with the guidance of the Rovers.

Reaching further

Over the course of these few weeks, the Sec 3 Scouts had the opportunity to bond together as a batch. Despite the fact that they were often working under the rain or underneath the hot sun, their spirits never wavered and they continued to push on. The whole project proved its worth by letting the Scouts see what they could achieve after three years in Catholic High Scout Group. This allowed them to set new boundaries as they strive to do even better.