Building a Bailey bridge

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Building a Bailey bridge

The Bailey bridge was developed by the British engineer Donald Bailey. His concept was unique in that a small group of men could quickly build a bridge of almost any size without the use of heavy equipment. This was achieved by using light and portable standard elements.

The Bailebridge saw its first use in North Africa in 1942. It was such a success that mass production was soon begun, both in the UK and the Unites States.


The bridges were meant to quickly replace destroyed bridges during the liberation of Europe and help Allied armies across obstacles anywhere.


The bridges helped normal life resume after the war. They can be used for traffic or even trains. There is almost no country where Baileybridges have not been used. Meant as a temporary measure, many bridges have remained in place far longer than anticipated.


The Bailey bridge is still in production and these days sees more civilian than military use. They are used as a temprorary crossing when replacing a permanent bridge, in case of disasters or large events. The German THW uses Baileybridges, and so does the Dutch ‘Rijkswaterstaat’. There are even commercial companies supplying Baileybridges where needed.


The Artitec kit consists of two parts: a basic kit, containing enough parts to build a standard light bridge, and an expansion set that allows for heavier constructions. Multiple expansion sets can be used to to create double or even triple Bailey bridges. From short light bridges to cross a small stream to heavy bridges on pillars crossing a ravine: the sky is the limit!

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