Cable installation gets under way for hybrid Bosphorus bridge – video

The first cables are now in place for the hybrid cable-stayed and suspension bridge being built over the Bosphorus in Turkey. Soletanche Freyssinet and Vinci Construction Vinci are installing 176 cables for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge in Istanbul.The team has published photos and a video showing the initial results of the operation, which began in April (link to video opens in new tab). The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is both cable-stayed and suspended. It will have a 1,408m main span - far longer than the world record for a purely cable-stayed bridge, the 1,104m-span Russky Island Bridge in Russia. The new Bosphorus bridge will carry dual four-lane carriageways for traffic plus two railway tracks in the middle.

Undulating design wins Perth stadium bridge contest

The Western Australian state government has unveiled the winning design for a pedestrian bridge to link the centre of Perth to the city’s new stadium. Transport minister Dean Nalder said that contract negotiations have been finalised between the government and the successful tenderer - York Rizzani De Eccher joint venture - to design and construct the bridge. Premier Colin Barnett said that the US$41 million steel Swan River Pedestrian Bridge would become a new landmark in Perth. He added that the winning design - similar to a suspension bridge - was highly distinctive and was chosen by an expert panel, headed by bridge engineer and former governor Ken Michael. “This design will deliver the best outcome for West Australians visiting the stadium precinct.  It has clearly delivered on the State’s design and construction guidelines.  Some people will look at the design and see swans, others will see a Wagyl [a snake-like creature] taking shape or a dolphin – and that’s perfect for this river environment,” he said. The bridge will be 65m at its highest point and stretch 400m from bank to bank, with a steel cable-supported span of 160m at its centre. Only two piers will be driven into the river bed. Construction will start later this year, with completion due by the end of 2016.

Programme to replace 558 bridges within 36 months begins in Pennsylvania, US

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards announced yesterday that construction on the Rapid Bridge Replacement Program is starting this month. The public-private partnership (P3) with Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), will replace 558 bridges across the state within 36 months. The commonwealth retains ownership of the bridges while the PWKP team is responsible for maintaining each bridge for 25 years after its replacement. PWKP consists of the Plenary Group, The Walsh Group, Granite Construction Company and HDR Engineering. Walsh and HDR maintain offices in Pennsylvania. PWKP will manage bridge design, construction and maintenance under the contract. The team is responsible for financing the effort and PennDOT will make payments based on the contractor’s adherence to the contract terms. PennDOT will be responsible for routine maintenance, such as snow ploughing and debris removal. Fifty-eight bridges are scheduled to be replaced this year in the south-western, north central and northeast regions of the state. Construction will be accelerated in part through the use of prefabricated components assembled at the construction site. Status updates will be provided by the contractor team via the project website, www.PARapidBridges.com.  

Federal clearance opens way for new Grand Avenue Bridge

The USA’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has given environmental clearance for construction of a new SH82 Grand Avenue Bridge in Colorado. Action is needed to address structural and safety deficiencies of the existing bridge in Glenwood Springs and to bring it up to current standards for a four-lane bridge. Scour is a particular problem. The FHWA found that building a new bridge would have no significant impact on the human environment and that an environmental impact statement is not required. Its finding of no significant impact (FONSI) report covers the design and aesthetic treatments that have been developed and identifies the mitigation measures that will be included in building the bridge. Construction is expected to begin in early 2016, and is anticipated to last approximately 24 to 30 months, including an approximately 90-day full bridge closure during the last nine months.

Sweco to buy Grontmij

Swedish consultant Sweco has reached a conditional agreement with Grontmij to buy all the shares of the Dutch firm. The deal will see the creation of a consultancy with 14,500 employees and an annual turnover of about US$1.9 billion. The companies say that they have a near-perfect fit, geographically, operationally and culturally. Grontmij will add new major markets to Sweco, while Sweco will give Grontmij further access to the Nordic market. In Sweden, Grontmij will boost areas where Sweco aims to reinforce its position. Sweco CEO Tomas Carlsson said: “Combining Sweco and Grontmij will create great value for all parties involved. Sweco has a solid track record of continuous operational improvements. In terms of growth, Sweco has consistently shown its ability to successfully grow through mergers. Now that our latest large acquisition, from 2013, has been very successfully integrated, we are ready to take the next step on the European market. Sweco and Grontmij are an ideal combination, since we share the same expertise and commitment to our customers. Together with Grontmij, we aim to become a recognised industry leader in Europe." Grontmij CEO Michiel Jaski added: “Grontmij has made significant progress since 2012 with its ‘Back on Track’ strategy. We have successfully stabilised and refocused the company, and have now reached a strategic crossroad. Looking at the future of Grontmij and the trends in our industry, we are convinced that merging with Sweco is in the best interest of all our stakeholders.”

Hearings begin for planned Auckland Harbour Bridge walkway

A proposal to build a cycleway and walkway under Auckland's Harbour Bridge will be considered in hearings starting today. The SkyPath scheme has been put forward as an essential element in the city's cycle network but there are local concerns about the impact on the suburbs adjoinng the bridge. The hearings, which will be held in front of independent commissioners, are expected to last five days.  The SkyPath proposal has been developed by the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Trust to provide a privately financed walking and cycling route, funded through an admission fee. It would be built using lightweight composite U-beams clipped onto the underside of the eastern edge of the bridge and would hvae a composite deck and an enclosure designed to allow viewing. The modules would be prefabricated off-site and placed on the side of the bridge at night to minimise traffic disruption.

Paris gets tough on ‘love locks’

The Pont des Arts in Paris, France, is being closed for a week from today while ‘love locks’ are permanently removed in line with a ruling to ban their placement. Campaigners have long been seeking the removal of the thousands of padlocks, left by couples as a gesture of romance. As well as being unsightly, the locks can cause damage as well as posing dangers. Their substantial weight has caused the collapse of some sections the mesh panels to which they are fixed. Panels collapsed under the weight (photo No Love Locks) The panels had been fitted as safety measure some years ago to fill gaps in the bridge’s railings, which are in the shape of a St Andrew’s cross. The ‘No Love Locks’ campaign spearheaded the drive for the removal and welcomed the news online. The bridge is now being fitted with temporary artwork panels, pending the installation in autumn of glazed panels designed to avoid any fixing points where padlocks could be fixed. Hundreds of thousands of padlocks have been left on certain Paris bridges. Paris’s mayor Anne Hidalgo and deputy Bruno Julliard have been seeking alternative ways for couples to mark their romantic trips to Paris. A campaign to encourage couples to take ‘selfies’ failed to stem the placement. In parallel, a trial was carried out to put up wooden panels, but these attracted graffiti.  

Tower Bridge engineering plans up for auction

Fourteen engineering drawings of London's Tower Bridge are to go up for auction in London next month. The collection is due for sale at Christie's in South Kensington on 9 June, in a sale of fine printed books and manuscripts, and the auctioneers estimate it will fetch anything between £3,000 and £5,000.  The drawings, which have been authenticated by archivists at the Institution of Civil Engineers, are duplicate plans which were prepared from drawings sent by some of the chief contractors working on the construction of Tower Bridge, and are dated between 1888 and 1893. They originate from the office of John Wolfe Barry, the chief engineer for the bridge. They include details relating to the preliminary stages of construction – the positioning shown relative to barge routes on the Thames in one case, as well as a temporary staging from 1889 showing the bridge in its entirety – and illustrate the infrastructure impacts of such a project. The plans were sent to the office of Wolfe Barry, head engineer, from the offices of Baron Armstrong – overseeing hydraulics – and Sir William Arrol, as well as from that of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, an earlier contender for the role of chief architect on the project.  They are being sold with a selection of engineering instruments also from Wolfe Barry's office.

Fluor and Balfour Beatty win $580m Texan toll road contract

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority in the USA has awarded a US$581.5 million design and build contract to a team led by Fluor and Balfour Beatty. Balfour Beatty and Fluor beat two other teams for the contract, which includes rehabilitation of a bridge over the Colorado River as part of the project to add tolled and non-tolled lanes to the US 183 highway. The scheme is intended to improve access to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Luxury brands fund Accademia Bridge refurb

The owner of luxury brands such as Prada, Chanel and Ray-Ban has donated US$1.9 million for the restoration the Accademia Bridge in Venice, Italy. Luxottica Group is funding the costs of the entire restoration project and the future maintenance work. Accademia Bridge was built in 1932 and is the only wooden bridge crossing the Grand Canal. It has a 48m arch and is one of the most recognised symbols of the city. Some eight million people a year cross over it, including the many visitors to the Accademia Gallery. "Luxottica is proud to participate in the realisation of this important project, which will return to the Venetians and all tourists a city landmark in its original beauty," said Leonardo Del Vecchio, Luxottica's chairman. "Today we are a global company, but our roots are in the Veneto Region where it all started. This donation is a gesture of affection for Venice and for our homeland.”

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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