Hong Kong announces delay in mega bridge completion

Hong Kong’s government has announced that the main section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will not be ready by next summer. The overall project consists of the main bridge works in mainland waters being conducted by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Authority, and link roads and boundary crossing facilities for which the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau governments are responsible. The government had already announced last year that there would be delays in the completion of the link roads and boundary crossing facilities. The latest announcement from the Transport & Housing Bureau said that both the main bridge project and the related projects saw construction difficulties and pressure in staying on schedule. “The authority and the three governments compiled and assessed the works programme at the end of last year and concluded that it would not be feasible for the project, including the Main Bridge project, to be completed for commissioning by the end of this year,” it said. A final assessment will be conducted and the revised target commissioning date of the entire project will be reported to the government. The bureau said that there has been an unstable supply of materials, a labour shortage, a height restriction, environmental protection requirements and slower-than-expected consolidation of the reclamation areas. The Highways Department expects the Hong Kong projects can only be completed by the end of next year

Study makes the case for new bridges in Melbourne regeneration area

A report by Aecom has shown that there would be economic benefits in building a tram extension with two bridges in the city of Port Phillip in Melbourne, Australia. The Aecom report is part of a submission made by the council this month to an Australian parliament inquiry into the role of transport connectivity in stimulating development and economic activity. Port Phillip would like to connect the city's central business district to the urban renewal area at Fishermans Bend, which is expected to become home to at least 80,000 residents and 60,000 workers over the next 40 years. The tram route would cross the Yarra River and the West Gate Freeway and the estimated costs of building the bridges are US$72 million and US$57 million, respectively. Port Phillip's mayor Bernadene Voss said that the independent report commissioned by council had found that early delivery of the US$215 million Collins Street tram extension could result in a US$790 million uplift in land values as well as extra revenue through rates and other contributions. The bridges on the alignment are intended to provide walking, cycling and light rail connectivity, prioritising active and public transport modes. The river section would need to allow the passage of masted boats, either through a higher clearance or a moveable section. Aecom has recommended a series of steps to develop the technical feasibility study for the bridges, including carrying out a preliminary design of the alignment.

Poor construction and improper design caused Sundsvall concrete failure

A series of interrelated causes led to the collapse of a concrete element on the northern abutment on the Sundsvall Bridge in Sweden on 4 August, a report by the contractor concluded. The report, which was submitted to Vagverket, the Swedish Transport Administration on 18 September, concluded that five mistakes contributed to the failure, the most serious being that the designer made the wrong calculations. In addition, subsequent changes that were made on the site were never notified to the Swedish Transport Administration and the designer. The bridge was built by contractor Sundsvallbron, a joint venture led by E Pihl & Son with Max Bogl and Josef Mobius. Pihl's design office was reponsible for the design of the piers and north abutment. "It is an honest and considered report, which fits well with our own analysis," said Sundsvall Bridge project manager Magnus Lundberg. He explained that five interconnected mistakes led to the accident last month, in which a 30t concrete element fell onto a contractor's car. No-one was injured in the accident as the staff were working inside the abutment at the time (Bd&e issue no 80). The first finding was that the designer used too simple a calculation, which underestimated the forces involved. Rather than use three-dimensional load cases, the designer relied on a two-dimensional load case, which is clearly insufficient. The second error was to undersize the connections that were used to hold the element in place, resulting in only four bolts being specified for a 30t piece of concrete. Lundberg said that neither the contractor, who will review the internal structure to the smallest detail, nor the Swedish Transport Administration, which makes spot checks, discovered the shortcomings during the construction process. Lundberg said that the designer had chosen an inappropriate solution, which required a very accurate fit and was difficult to carry out in practice. The final error was that changes were made on the site without being reported to the client. An incident report should always be submitted, and changes must be approved before they may be implemented, Lundberg said. After the incident on August 7, all bridge elements were examined and only three were found to have the same shortcomings. The concrete elements, which are not structural, but are designed as cladding for the abutments, were taken down and the bridge was confirmed to be completely safe. "The next step is that we, the contractor and the Work Environment Authority must reconcile and agree on the content of the report," Lundberg said. "Before the end of the year we hope to have new elements in place."

New laminated timber bridge collapses in Norway

A wooden bridge which was built last year to carry local traffic over the new E6 highway at Sjoa in Norway collapsed yesterday as a timber truck crossed over it. The driver of the truck, which fell 6m when the bridge at Perkolo collapsed, was taken to hospital and the Norwegian highways authority Statens Vegvesen is investigating the incident. The 45m-long, 5m wide bridge was designed by consultant Reinertsen and approved by Statens Vegvesen.  Contractor Implenia Aurstad and supplier Moelven Glulam are participating in the investigation to try and establish the cause of the collapse. The bridge is part of the new E6 road project between Ringebu and Otta which incorporates a total of six laminated timber bridges all built between December 2014 and September 2015. "We will do everything we can to help find the cause of the collapse as soon as possible," said NPRA project manager Øyvind Moshagen. Highway traffic is not affected by the incident since it happened on the construction site. NPRA is responsible for 55 wooden road bridges, nine of which are truss bridges made of laminated timber and of similar design to the bridge at Perkolo. In total Statens Vegvesen manages 134 wooden bridges but the remainder only carry pedestrians and cyclists. 

Contractor picked for River Sava bridge

A joint venture of Croatian contractor Viadukt and Hering of Bosnia has won the tender for a new bridge linking the two countries across the River Sava. Local media reports say that the price submitted by Viaduct and Hering was approximately US$30 million and was not the cheapest bid. The international tender for the project had been launched in September 2015 by Croatia’s motorway operator and the price had been put at some US$29 million. The 600m-long three-lane bridge and associated road will form part of a cross-Europe transport corridor.

Contractor picked for River Sava bridge

A joint venture of Croatian contractor Viadukt and Hering of Bosnia has won the tender for a new bridge linking the two countries across the River Sava. Local media reports say that the price submitted by Viaduct and Hering was approximately US$30 million and was not the cheapest bid. The international tender for the project had been launched in September 2015 by Croatia’s motorway operator and the price had been put at some US$29 million. The 600m-long three-lane bridge and associated road will form part of a cross-Europe transport corridor.

First deck span cast on Mersey Gateway

The Mersey Gateway project in the north west of England achieved another milestone this week as the first deck span for the elevated north approach viaduct was completed. The reinforced concrete deck span was revealed when Merseylink's movable scaffolding system 'Trinity' moved to its second casting position. A close up view of the first concrete deck span for the Mersey Gateway's north approach viaduct. (David Hunter).   It is the first of 11 spans that will be cast by the MSS for the deck of the elevated approach viaduct on the north side of the River Mersey. This span connects the beginning of the approach viaduct from the north abutment in Widnes to the first supporting pier. The enormous structure measures around 60m long and 18m wide and is angled at a crossfall of 5 degrees. Construction teams worked around the clock to get the span ready. This involved pouring 1,146m3 of concrete into the MSS non-stop over a period of 34 hours. Merseylink general foreman Declan Cannar, who is in charge of the MSS operation, said: "This is a real achievement for the project and a milestone that we've been looking forward to with anticipation. Our construction teams have put a considerable amount of time and effort into constructing this initial span so it's great to see it finished. We're now busy preparing the MSS so it's ready to cast the next section." Councillor Rob Polhill, Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: "This is such an exciting moment for the project and it is fantastic that we can now see a completed span of the approach viaduct. You can track Trinity's journey via the live view webcam on the Mersey Gateway website and it's well worth a look. This remarkable example of engineering is truly special and I can't wait to see its progress over the coming months." The first deck span of the Mersey Gateway's north approach viaduct showing the north abutment. (David Hunter).  The approach viaduct deck is being constructed in three phases. The deck spans are constructed first by the MSS, then a deck slab is built on top of the span, and finally the outer deck or ‘wings' are built by a wing traveller machine to provide the full six lane width of the approach road. The MSS has moved to its second casting position ready for work to begin on the next span, which will be cast in March.  

First deck span cast on Mersey Gateway

The Mersey Gateway project in the north west of England achieved another milestone this week as the first deck span for the elevated north approach viaduct was completed. The reinforced concrete deck span was revealed when Merseylink's movable scaffolding system 'Trinity' moved to its second casting position. A close up view of the first concrete deck span for the Mersey Gateway's north approach viaduct. (David Hunter).   It is the first of 11 spans that will be cast by the MSS for the deck of the elevated approach viaduct on the north side of the River Mersey. This span connects the beginning of the approach viaduct from the north abutment in Widnes to the first supporting pier. The enormous structure measures around 60m long and 18m wide and is angled at a crossfall of 5 degrees. Construction teams worked around the clock to get the span ready. This involved pouring 1,146m3 of concrete into the MSS non-stop over a period of 34 hours. Merseylink general foreman Declan Cannar, who is in charge of the MSS operation, said: "This is a real achievement for the project and a milestone that we've been looking forward to with anticipation. Our construction teams have put a considerable amount of time and effort into constructing this initial span so it's great to see it finished. We're now busy preparing the MSS so it's ready to cast the next section." Councillor Rob Polhill, Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: "This is such an exciting moment for the project and it is fantastic that we can now see a completed span of the approach viaduct. You can track Trinity's journey via the live view webcam on the Mersey Gateway website and it's well worth a look. This remarkable example of engineering is truly special and I can't wait to see its progress over the coming months." The first deck span of the Mersey Gateway's north approach viaduct showing the north abutment. (David Hunter).  The approach viaduct deck is being constructed in three phases. The deck spans are constructed first by the MSS, then a deck slab is built on top of the span, and finally the outer deck or ‘wings' are built by a wing traveller machine to provide the full six lane width of the approach road. The MSS has moved to its second casting position ready for work to begin on the next span, which will be cast in March.  

South Dakota expands modular Acrow Bridge inventory

Acrow Bridge has recently completed two projects in the US state of South Dakota. One of the projects involved the supply of new components, which has expanded the inventory of modular bridges available to South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). SDDOT has a pool of Acrow modular steel products for use in emergencies or for planned detours. The new Acrow components were brought in for use on a planned detour on State Route 281 over the Maple River near Frederick. The temporary structure provided full traffic flow along this major artery in a rural area where detour routes are prohibitively long. SDDOT purchased a 49m long by 9m wide TDR3.  In addition to being a longer structure than those already owned by the state, this newer bridge is AASHTO HL-93 load rated with new bridge-rail capability meeting the TL 3 or 4 type specifications. It has an epoxy-aggregate coated decking. The structure was installed with a crane-assisted method, and has now been removed with a full cantilever launch, accomplished in a very tight work area. For a temporary structure on I-29 in north Sioux Falls, SDDOT used a 43m long by 9m wide Acrow 700XS bridge that it has owned for more than a decade and has used on several projects.  "South Dakota DOT has owned Acrow bridging for several years," said Tom Pinder, western sales manager at Acrow. "As per RFQ stipulations, contractors are required to contact us for on-site assistance and installation procedures that are tailor-fit to the location needs and contractor's capabilities. When the bridge is removed, Acrow is there again to assist in the process and do a final inventory back at the storage yard." "The modular design of Acrow bridges provide a good solution for state DOTs needing cost-effective and rapid temporary bridging solutions," said Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge. "Our customisable components can be engineered for many different applications, have an estimated life span of 75-100 years and are virtually maintenance-free."

South Dakota expands modular Acrow Bridge inventory

Acrow Bridge has recently completed two projects in the US state of South Dakota. One of the projects involved the supply of new components, which has expanded the inventory of modular bridges available to South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). SDDOT has a pool of Acrow modular steel products for use in emergencies or for planned detours. The new Acrow components were brought in for use on a planned detour on State Route 281 over the Maple River near Frederick. The temporary structure provided full traffic flow along this major artery in a rural area where detour routes are prohibitively long. SDDOT purchased a 49m long by 9m wide TDR3.  In addition to being a longer structure than those already owned by the state, this newer bridge is AASHTO HL-93 load rated with new bridge-rail capability meeting the TL 3 or 4 type specifications. It has an epoxy-aggregate coated decking. The structure was installed with a crane-assisted method, and has now been removed with a full cantilever launch, accomplished in a very tight work area. For a temporary structure on I-29 in north Sioux Falls, SDDOT used a 43m long by 9m wide Acrow 700XS bridge that it has owned for more than a decade and has used on several projects.  "South Dakota DOT has owned Acrow bridging for several years," said Tom Pinder, western sales manager at Acrow. "As per RFQ stipulations, contractors are required to contact us for on-site assistance and installation procedures that are tailor-fit to the location needs and contractor's capabilities. When the bridge is removed, Acrow is there again to assist in the process and do a final inventory back at the storage yard." "The modular design of Acrow bridges provide a good solution for state DOTs needing cost-effective and rapid temporary bridging solutions," said Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge. "Our customisable components can be engineered for many different applications, have an estimated life span of 75-100 years and are virtually maintenance-free."

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