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Europe's Longest Bridge Bends but Won't Break

It was an odd and quite scary ride that motorists experienced last week driving along a recently opened bridge on river Volga, Russia.

It was a very windy day around Volgograd, south-western Russia. People were quietly sitting at the steering-wheel of their vehicles, driving down the 7 kms (about 4.5 miles) that allegedly make Volgograd's bridge the longest in Europe. Suddenly, for some reason that is still unknown, the bridge started wobbling up and down in a smooth yet whiplashing fashion, causing cars to hop up and land back on the pavement in a funky and quite dangerous way.

The bridge's vertically oscillating movement fortunately caused no serious injury in drivers, nor did it awkwardly cause any damage to the frame or paint. Yet, it was quite the show for onlookers, and produced a surreal psychedelic effect that can be seen here on thanks to AP.

The bridge has been reportedly closed since last Thursday. It's now up to engineers to understand what caused such phoenomenon.

Authorities and experts are pointing the finger towards the strong gusts that whipped the area last week. Apparently, the bridge was designed as earthquake and flood proof, but not wind resistant. The spans between pillars are quite long, and this might be the cause for such sensitivity to wind.

The Volgograd bridge was opened last October, and cost an estimated $400 million. But let's look at the upside: with all this publicity, Russians could just save on repairs and pay the whole bridge off in no-time by making it an attraction in pure theme-park style!


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