Continued settlement forces second closure of I-65 bridge

Engineers working for Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in the USA are developing plans to address pier settlement at a bridge carrying the northbound I-65 highway. Wildcat Creek Bridge has been closed to traffic since Friday afternoon when structural engineers noticed continued movement in the riverbank pier. The bridge had been open for less than two days following the overnight installation of temporary steel supports to stem problems found on Tuesday 4 August at the same pier. INDOT said at the time of the initial closure that the condition of the structure, combined with construction taking place in the area, appears to be what caused some of the bridge bearings to fall out from underneath the bridge deck in a short time span. This was quickly noticed by construction crews, who observed unusual movements in the bridge deck and investigated further. The support system was ordered immediately and installed the next day. At a briefing yesterday, INDOT said that all resources are being brought to bear to ease congestion and reopen the bridge. Both in-state and out-of-state geotechnical specialists from Indiana Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Walsh Construction are working on site evaluating the bridge to identify the proper course of action.

Spain’s cycling tour to showcase new Cadiz crossing

Viewers around the world will see the new Cadiz bridge on their TV screens later this month when the 2015 Vuelta Ciclista crosses the structure during the fourth stage of the race. The initial course for the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France had the professional cyclists crossing into Cadiz over the existing José León de Carranza bridge, one of only two access points into the city.   But the route was altered to showcase the new La Pepa cable-stayed bridge, officially known as the Puente de la Constitución de 1812, which is in the final stages of construction.     Picture credit: Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahía de Cádiz   According to local reports, work is taking place against the clock to prepare the 3.2km-long La Pepa bridge for the 25th of August deadline. Around 300 workers are busy installing the parapets on the bridge and dismantling the falsework.   The link has 37 spans ranging from 32m to the main cable-stayed span of 540m.   The Ministry of Development is expected to announce the official opening of the bridge to traffic will take place in mid September but pedestrians will be allowed onto the bridge the weekend before during a special open session.   The new Cadiz bridge project was designed by Spanish consultant Carlos Fernandez Casado; work began in 2007 by main contractors Dragados and FPS, and was originally scheduled for completion in autumn 2012.   With 175 countries signed up to broadcast media coverage of the Vuelta Ciclista, the event will be the ideal opportunity for showcasing the bridge to the international community.  

Acrow moves forward with 144-bridge project in Zambia

Acrow Bridge has said that it anticipates beginning work late this year on a 144-bridge project in partnership with the Road Development Agency of Zambia. The work will be carried out exclusively by Zambian engineers, technicians and contractors, who will be trained in the field by Acrow on the assembly and installation of the bridges. “Bridging is an important infrastructure asset in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly for the support and development of agriculture as well as the integration of often remote rural communities into the broader domestic and regional economy,” said Paul Sullivan, Acrow’s vice president of international business development. “This important project demonstrates Acrow's decades-long commitment to providing high-quality bridge infrastructure solutions in Africa, with a special focus on local skills capacity building.” Bill Killeen, president and CEO of Acrow Bridge, said: “Our partnership with the Zambian Government will provide the country’s citizens and businesses with strong and durable bridges, made of American steel and manufactured in the United States to the finest international quality standards. He added that the company’s bridges are designed to be environmentally sensitive through the manufacturing processes and through the service life of 75 years or more, by not needing to be refinished during that time. The Export-Import Bank of the United States is financing the Acrow Bridge development programme via loan guarantees to the Road Development Agency of the Republic of Zambia.

Johannesburg embarks on bridge upgrade programme

Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) in South Africa has launched a city-wide bridge construction and rehabilitation programme. The city's mayor introduced the 2015/16 JRA Flagship Bridge Programme at an event yesterday. A recent inspection of the city's 814 bridges had concluded that some require rehabilitation, including new construction and expansion. Among the schemes announced yesterday is the upgrade of the Mandela Bridge, a cable-stayed structure completed in 2003. Other projects include the R100m upgrade of three low-lying bridges in Soweto that are regularly overtopped by flood waters following heavy rain. The three bridges are Leselinyana-Kinini, Nxumalo and Zulu-Mahalefele.

Concrete block falls from new Sundsvall Bridge

A concrete block at least 10m tall has fallen from the new Sundsvall Bridge in northern Sweden. Local news reports say that workers from an energy company had been at work inside the abutment that the block was attached to. No-one was hurt in the incident, which crushed the workers' car parked alongside. The 2,109m-long structure - Sweden's longest motorway bridge - was inaugurated in December last year.

Pylon construction begins for Mersey Gateway

The first major concrete pour is under way for pylon construction at the Mersey Gateway project in north-west England. Merseylink’s construction teams are building three pylons to support the cable-stayed bridge. The initial pour is for the south pylon foundation and involves pumping 1,400m3 of concrete into the south cofferdam in a non-stop operation that will last about 27 hours. The three pylon foundations will sit below the riverbed and will each be 4.5m high and be up to 22m in diameter. Merseylink’s site agent George Houston said: “This is one of the biggest concrete pours that I’ve ever been involved with. We’re using a massive amount of concrete - over 600 truckloads just for the three pylon foundations. It’s an extremely technical part of the project and our teams will be working round the clock to get the job done.” In total, approximately 127,000m3 of concrete will be used across the project - the equivalent of about 20,000 truck-mixer-loads of concrete.

Canada announces celebratory lighting project for Jacques Cartier Bridge

Canada’s government has announced a US$30.2 million project to illuminate the Jacques Cartier Bridge to mark both the 150th anniversary of the Canadian confederation and Montreal’s 375th anniversary. The lighting will be unveiled in time for the celebrations in 2017. The Jacques Cartier Bridge is used every day by thousands of people to cross the Saint Lawrence River. The planned Living Connections illuminations are described as “a unique interactive lighting concept activated in real time by the seasons and the energy of the city”. The feasibility study and preliminary concept was carried out by Moment Factory in collaboration with six Montréal multimedia and lighting studios: Ambiances Design Productions, ATOMIC3, Éclairage Public / Ombrages, Lucion Média, Réalisations and UDO Design. Jacques Cartier & Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) will be project manager. The US$30.2 million estimated cost of the project includes the feasibility study, concept, design, completion as well as operating and maintenance costs over a 10-year period. JCCBI will contribute US$22.9 million to the project, while the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary will inject up to US$7.3 million. “Montrealers can be proud of this project worthy of their great city,” said mayor of Montréal Denis Coderre. “The Jacques Cartier Bridge has been part of our city’s history for 85 years now. With the support of our government partners, we are giving it new life through the use of light. The illuminated bridge promises to be a must-see attraction for all visitors and a powerful symbol of Montréal’s creativity. From now on, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge will move to the beat of Montréal.” Commissioner of Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary Gilbert Rozon added: “We would like to thank the Government of Canada for it its considerable support in making the illumination of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge a reality. This project is proof of the creative intelligence of Montréal’s talents. The concept is simple, innovative and brilliant. It embodies the very energy we want to infuse Montréal with in 2017 for the 375th celebrations. Montrealers will be able to feel the pulse of their city in real time. This lighting project, which is unique to Montréal, is on the cutting edge of what is being done in interactive lighting worldwide.”

Replacement of Arkansas River Bridge moves forward

Plans to  replace the Arkansas River Bridge as part of an upgrade of the Interstate 30 highway can now move forward following US federal acceptance of the project’s environmental study. Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD) officials have received a letter this month from the Federal Highway Administration acknowledging completion of the I-30 planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study. The I-30 project will be branded the ‘30 Crossing’ project going forward. The logo and name reference improvements to the I-30 Arkansas River Bridge - which will be replaced as a major component of the project - as well as the opportunity to connect businesses and communities. The PEL study area covered the I-30 between I-40 and I-530, including the Arkansas River Bridge, as well as a section of the I-40. “The study took a first look at I-30’s system capacity, safety and deficiencies within the study area,” said Ben Browning, AHTD project director for the scheme. The alternative being carried forward includes five lanes in each direction. The project’s preliminary schedule has the environmental and schematic phase completing in mid-2016, the design-build team beginning work in early 2017 and construction beginning in 2018.

Slide of 2000t bridge marks milestone on Scotland’s M8 project – video

The first bridge has been completed on Transport Scotland’s US$780 million project to improve the M8, M73 and M74 motorways. Video footage shows the new rail bridge, weighing in excess of 2,000 tonnes, sliding into its final position over what will become the new M8 motorway. The timelapse footage can be accessed from Bridgeweb's video section (link opens in new tab). The completion of the bridge slide has been the culmination of months of planning and preparation between Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), the contractor responsible for delivering the project, and its construction joint venture, Ferrovial Lagan. SRP took possession of the rail line on 11 July, and returned it to Network Rail on 26 July as programmed, with rail services resuming the following day. Graeme Reid, project sponsor for Transport Scotland, said: “The success of the bridge slide marks a significant milestone as part of the M8 M73 M74 motorway improvements project and is the first tangible improvement to the transport infrastructure. The time lapse gives a real sense of the challenges involved in delivering a project of this scale and encourages a greater understanding of civil engineering schemes and the benefits they can bring.” The first phase of works involved the closure of the railway line over four weekends in April, allowing the construction team to lay the foundations by installing eight piles - each 2m in diameter - and reinforce the ground on either side of the bridge. The three-span steel bridge was then built adjacent to the existing railway prior to the slide. The construction team used a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) system to slide the 2,000 tonne structure into place. Six SPMT platform vehicles, fitted with row upon row of rubber wheels were moved into position under the structure to carry the weight of the bridge to the ground. A computer controller was used to simultaneously drive the six SPMT platforms carrying the bridge structure 50m north, in an operation that lasted approximately four hours.

Tintagel Castle bridge design competition draws 137 entries

Teams from around the world have responded enthusiastically to a competition to design a bridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England. The bridge will be built at one of the most spectacular historic sites within English Heritage’s care.  Competition organiser, Malcolm Reading Consultants, received 137 submissions by last week’s deadline. UK practices predominated but almost 40% of submissions were international. Design teams from 26 other countries, including the United States, Russia, India, Japan, South Africa and Chile, applied. Tintagel’s divided landscapes were once united by a narrow strip of land, now lost. The competition, which was launched last month, is for the design of a new bridge that will follow the path of this original crossing (link opens in new tab). The new 72m-span bridge will open up new views of Tintagel, the coastline and the sea as it will be 28m higher than the current crossing. Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “We’re delighted that the design community has responded so enthusiastically to this project. Tintagel Castle is undeniably one of the most spectacular sites in our care, a thrilling combination of the man-made and natural world. We’re really looking forward to seeing the shortlist.” Malcolm Reading, architect and competition organiser, said: “Bridge design is a kinship of specialised engineers and highly creative architects, typically working in collaboration, and the Tintagel competition has intrigued designers worldwide. The evocative setting and compelling brief give this project an exceptional profile, and while it has attracted some brilliant specialists, we’re also pleased that newer studios are in the mix too.” According to English Heritage’s brief, the winning design must be “elegant, structurally daring and beautiful in its own right, while being sensitively balanced with the landscape and exceptional surroundings". The competition jury, chaired by Graham Morrison, founding partner of Allies & Morrison, will meet in August to draw up a shortlist of six teams.  

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