Prefabricated segmental bridges are popular because they're cheap and easy to install -- but they could also be more resilient than regular bridge designs to seismic activity, according to a new study. Researchers constructed a 70-ton test bridge, and found that its segments slid around to dissipate earthquake-energy before returning to their original positions. "There's no doubt that that this design would perform well in a severe seismic environment," says one engineer.

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