HK-Zhuhai-Macao mega bridge enters final phase

The final pier of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge was completed this week.  The 208th pier of the bridge was finished on Sunday and the focus is now on completing the steel deck. The mega project is creating a 29.6km dual three-lane carriageway in the form of bridge and tunnel structure to link Zhuhai in Guangdong on the Chinese mainland with the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. As well as the main bridge, the scheme also includes major projects to provide boundary crossing facilities and links at the three end-points.

Investigation begins into NZ bridge cable accident

Investigations are under way into the failure of a cable on the Hopuruahine Suspension Bridge in New Zealand. Four French hikers coming off the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk fell about 8.5m into the river after a cable parted, causing the footbridge to tip. No-one was badly hurt. The site has been secured for investigations, which will be undertaken by independent health and safety inspectors and engineers. The bridge spans approximately 65m across the river and is rated for 10 people at a time. “We are awaiting the outcome of the inspectors and engineers reports to determine what happened,” said Mike Slater, deputy director general of conservation in the Department of Conservation (DOC). “The bridge was last inspected one year ago by a qualified DOC inspector in September 2014 and inspected by an engineer in November 2013.” DOC manages 13,000 visitor structures of which 4,000 are bridges. The structures all have two-yearly inspections by qualified DOC staff, six-yearly inspections by qualified engineers and every 12 years loading tests are done on bridges.

McConnell Dowell wins contract for Kawarau Falls Bridge

McConnell Dowell Constructors has won the contract for the new two-lane Kawarau Falls Bridge in New Zealand. Novare Design is the engineer for the design and build project. The scheme will be based on a proposed design prepared by Sinclair Knight Merz for the consents process in 2013 (link opens in new tab). “McConnell Dowell has recently completed, very successfully, the two new bridges over the Waitaki River near Kurow for the Transport Agency,” said NZ Transport Agency senior project engineer Phil Dowsett. Some of the same people will work on the new project. Funding for the bridge was brought forward in the government’s announcement in June 2014 to accelerate a package of regionally important state highway projects. The Kawarau Falls Bridge project, which will serve serving fast-growing Queenstown, was one of five from around the country included in the package. Construction work is due to start at the end of this year. The value of the contract is US$13.5 million and completion is due in the third quarter of 2017. The final hurdles for the project had been overcome in 2013, when the last remaining appeal was withdrawn (link opens in new tab).

Towers of New NY Bridge begin to rise

Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) has begun work on the 128m towers of the New NY Bridge in New York, USA. The contractor is using self-climbing jump forms to erect the towers of the cable-stayed bridge.  Eight towers will be constructed on the project's football-field-long main-span pile caps over the coming year. The bridge is being built under a US$3.14 billion contract by TZC, a joint venture of Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge, Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros.

Shortlist announced in Tintagel Castle bridge design competition

Six teams have been invited to create concept designs for the new pedestrian bridge at the spectacular Tintagel Castle site in Cornwall in south west England.   English Heritage has named a shortlist made up of architects and engineers from the UK, Belgium and France. In alphabetical order, the teams are: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes with Terrell (France) Marks Barfield Architects with Flint and Neill (UK) Ney & Partners Civil Engineers with William Matthews Associates, Ettwein Bridges and Waagner Biro (Belgium) Niall McLaughlin Architects with Price and Myers, and Max Fordham (UK) RFR and Jean-François Blassel Architecte, with Engineers HRW, and WSP (France) WilkinsonEyre with Atelier One (UK) The decision of the selection panel – which included representatives of the jury, English Heritage and competition organiser, Malcolm Reading Consultants – was unanimous. Graham Morrison, chair of the jury and founding partner of Allies & Morrison said: “The competition’s first stage attracted high-level interest from around the world and we were delighted with the response. In choosing the shortlist we looked for designers likely to produce a range of imaginative ways of making a beautiful and economic structure that is right for this very particular setting. The list comprises some fascinating collaborations of architects and engineers, a mix of great talent and experience. Refreshingly, bridge designers show a passion and enthusiasm that assembles straightforward and confident thinking with inspirations that are unique and sometimes unexpected." An open day for the finalists will be held in September and the teams will have until 20 November to produce their concept designs. The new circa bridge will be 28m higher than the current crossing and will span 72m, offering views across Tintagel, the surrounding coastline, and the Atlantic seascape. The brief asks finalists to design a beautiful, structurally-elegant bridge which will be in harmony with the setting, as Tintagel Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument lying within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. English Heritage plans to reveal the concept designs to the public in an exhibition to be held in December. Jury interviews will take place in January 2016, with the winner announcement expected in late January or early February.

Nigerian government issues update on 2nd Niger Bridge

Nigeria’s Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission has responded to local media reports, which had said that the 2nd Niger Bridge project is on hold or suspended. ICRC – the country's body responsible for accelerating the adoption of public-private partnerships – said that it is working to resolve outstanding issues concerning the project and that its director general, Aminu Diko, has emphasised to Nigeria’s president how important the bridge is. “We know that it is critical, we also know how Nigerians suffer during festive holidays and we hear people sleep on that old bridge,” he said. “The time has come to bring succour to Nigerians." Diko added that, as a PPP, the project must pass through various checks to satisfy the federal government and investors alike of its viability, affordability, and also to ensure people get value for money. IRCR has expressed concerns about project costs, including projected toll fees and engagement of community stakeholders whose land would be affected. ICRC stressed that the bridge must be procured in strict compliance with the ICRC Act and the national policy on PPP. “To this end, the Commission assures Nigerians that it is working with the Federal Ministry of Works to resolve these issues as quickly as possible."

Modjeski & Masters buys Summit Engineering

North American specialist bridge consultant Modjeski & Masters has bought structural engineering firm Summit Engineering Group, which specialises in segmental concrete bridge design and construction. This marks the first acquisition in the 122-year history of M&M. “Summit has a reputation for being one of the best in the business at successfully partnering with owners, fabricators and contractors,” said M&M president and CEO Barney Martin. "As our industry evolves, these contractor/engineering relationships become more important. This acquisition will allow us to leverage this ability, expand our business and provide even higher levels of service to our clients." Summit, which is based in Colorado, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of M&M and will grow the geographic reach of the company into the western USA. Gross revenue for M&M was approximately US$45 million for the year ending 2014 and is expected to grow with this acquisition. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Sri Lanka begins design of bridge over Kelani River

The Sri Lankan government has begun detailed design of a new six-lane bridge over the Kelani River in Colombo. Construction is set to begin in January 2017 of the new US$326 million bridge to improve links between the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, Colombo Port and Baseline Road. It will be built alongside the existing Kelani Bridge -  also known as the Japan Friendship Bridge. The Ministry of Highways & Investment Promotion said that the project is aimed at easing traffic congestion and encouraging economic development. Traffic flows over the Kelani Bridge and in the surrounding area increased following the opening of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and the Outer Colombo Circular Road. Environmental and feasibility studies have already been completed. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide financial assistance.

Circle Bridge opens in Copenhagen

Thousands of people celebrated the opening last weekend of the Cirkelbroen, or Circle Bridge, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The bridge’s name comes from its shape: five differently-sized circular platforms, each with its own ‘mast’. Artist Olafur Eliasson used the sailing boat as inspiration for the design of the new pedestrian crossing of the Christianshavn Canal. Other members of the project team include consulting engineer Rambøll, project manager KMA Advisory and construction manager Arpe & Kjeldsholm. The steelwork was by KSM Industry, hydraulics and controls by SH-Group, electrics by Høyrup & Clemmensen and concrete works by CG Jensen. Photo: Søren Svendsen, for Nordea-fonden Cirkelbroen is lit at night, and one section functions as a swing bridge, rotating to allow large boats to pass into and out of the canal. The bridge is roughly 40m long with a water-clearance height of 2.25m when closed. The total length of the rotating part is around 25m long. Local sailors can activate the controls to open the bridge by using an electronic card that identifies the user. It takes about 20 seconds to open. The bridge is a gift from Nordea-fonden to the city of Copenhagen, which is now responsible for its operation and maintenance. Its completion achieves a long-standing goal of the city to create a contiguous boardwalk along the inner waterfront.

First arch completed at Calatrava bridge in Texas

The first of two steel arches for the Margaret McDermott Bridges in Dallas has now been completed. The 100m-tall arches for the eastbound and westbound bridges are 400m long. The final element of the eastbound arch was raised into place in an operation that took several hours. The Margaret McDermott Bridges have been designed by Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the nearby Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Both schemes are part of the US city's Trinity River Corridor project.

Resent News

As part of a great Design/Build team Fine Tuned Structures project North Carolina Real Estate Property won the 2017 ICF Builder Magazine Award for best residential project in the World. We are proud for being a member of an award winning team.... Read more

Fine Tuned Structures recently completed the design of new apartment building in downtown Charleston, South Carolina