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The Self supporting bridge was designed by Leonard around 1486 in response to a request from his patron Cesare Borgia. for a simple bridge to allow troops to cross a river. The design was to be simple assemble on site by regular troops with no woodworking skills.
Leonardo designed this bridge with 2 simple parts (5 short poles and 10 long ones notched) that once assembled would stand under its own weight without requiring any ties or connections.
It may be that a weight was tied beneath the central cross member to stabilise the bridge when there was no weight upon it and that planks attached across the bare cross rails to enable troops to move more quickly.
The simplicity of this design is just pure genius.