Bridge Design & Engineering reports that such machines have become commonplace throughout China over the past several decades. Each machine has to be custom-designed for the bridge it's intended to construct.
"Launching machines are always customized to suit the specific bridge design, construction conditions, structural dimensions of beams and so on," wrote Yabin Liu and Fuchun Yuan.
"Even if a bridge project needs multiple launching machines, the supplier may design different erection solutions and the launching machines may vary in structure, operation and controls," they wrote.
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In recent years, however, engineers have devised ways to make the machines more reusable. Thanks to technological and design advances, the majority of machines can be dissembled and customized for multiple projects.
On average, a machine will erect more than 700 bridge spans throughout its life.
An accompanying animated short depicts even more of the bridge-building process: