Ingerop buys High-Point Rendel’s engineering business

French consultancy Ingérop has bought the specialist civil and structural engineering division of High-Point Rendel. The division will now operate as Rendel Limited and will continue to focus on engineering services in the bridges, geotechnical, highways, maritime and tunnelling fields. The business was originally founded by James Meadows Rendel in the UK in 1838 as Rendel, Palmer & Tritton, and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2013.   Ingérop was formed in 1992 from the merger of Inter G and SEEE and is owned entirely by its employees. Ingérop employs more than 1,500 staff, with about 200 located outside France, mainly in Europe, South America, North Africa and Southern Africa. Rendel and Ingérop have worked together on the New Europe Bridge across the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania, and on the tender design of the Mersey Gateway project. Ingérop president Yves Metz said: “I am very happy with this merger, creating wealth for our partners and our teams. Ingérop and Rendel share the same vision of the market and the same values.” Rendel managing director Vardy Jones said: “We have worked with Ingérop over many years and believe the mix of our services complement each other, which in turn will bring greater benefits to our clients and staff.  We are very excited about the opportunities ahead of us as part of the Ingérop group.”

Ship collisions prompt installation of warning system at Freemantle rail bridge

A rail bridge in the Australian city of Freemantle is to be fitted with an early warning system after a spate of shipping incidents including a collision last year. The system will be used to warn the train network when ships come too close to the Fremantle Rail Bridge. It is being installed in conjunction with new concrete buffers to absorb the impact of any collisions. Western Australia’s transport minister Dean Nalder said that the work follows a spate of incidents involving ships at Fremantle Port over the years. Most recently, strong currents in August 2014 caused a container ship to break its mooring and crash into the bridge. The bridge, built in 1964 from steel and concrete, was closed for 12 days during inspections by structural engineers.  In May 2011, the bridge had been hit by a refuelling barge. “This early warning system will provide an extra level of safety by alerting the Public Transport Authority, giving them the ability to switch the signals to red and stopping trains from crossing the bridge,” said Nalder. Installation will be completed in September 2016. Other protective measures under way include a US$16 million contract being carried out by York Civil and Marine & Civil to construct new concrete and steel bollards downstream from the rail bridge to absorb significant force in the case of impact by a vessel. The bridge’s piles are also being strengthened and the timber fender is being upgraded. In parallel, Fremantle Ports is installing a shoreside system for continuous control of tension on mooring lines, reducing strain related to strong currents and wind. An extra LED message board is being provided to improve vessel navigation through the southern channel.

Canam lands steelwork deal for Champlain Bridge replacement

Canam-Bridges has signed an letter of commitment to fabricate the steel superstructure for the replacement of the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Canada. Discussions with the project’s contracting consortium will continue over the coming weeks with a view to signing one of the largest contracts ever obtained by Canam Group. The contract remains subject to the signature of various contractual agreements between the consortium and the federal government. Canam’s agreement is with Signature on the St Lawrence Group, a consortium that includes SNC-Lavalin Major Projects, Dragados Canada and Flatiron Constructors Canada. The government selected the consortium in April as the preferred proponent to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the new bridge, which will have an approximate length of 3.4km and is slated to open in 2018. The new cable-stayed bridge will span the St. Lawrence River from the île des Soeurs to Brossard, immediately downstream from the existing Champlain Bridge.

Retrofits announced for key Manila bridges

The Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) in the Philippines has said that US$90 million is to be invested upgrading two key bridges in Metro Manila. Local reports say that the Guadalupe Bridge and the Lambingan Bridge are the next two bridges that will be upgraded and given earthquake retrofits. Work is nearing completion on an earlier project, the rehabilitation of Ayala Bridge. Japan will work with the Philippines government on the upgrades of the next two bridges. The aim is to carry out the work while keeping traffic flowing. The DPWH is working to safeguard against seismic movements following the publication of a report on the 100km West Valley Fault, which crosses parts of Metro Manila as well as other provinces.

Panama picks FCC-Odebrecht for 21km elevated metro

A consortium of FCC and Norberto Odebrecht has won the tender to build line 2 of the Panama Metro. FCC- Odebrecht won with a bid of US$1.858 billion and an evaluation score of 855.98 out of a possible 1,000. The contract for the construction of Line 2 of the Panama Metro includes 16 stations and 21km of elevated railway lines. The consortium will carry out design engineering, construction, secondary installation work and the supply and installation of the railway system, including rolling stock and initial commissioning. FCC has already built line 1 in Panama. The two losing teams were one made up of Dragados, Ingenieros Civiles Asociados and Grana y Montero; and one comprising China Harbour Engineering, China Railway First Group and Corsan-Corsoviam. The project’s reference price was US$1.818654 billion dollars, fixed by the Metro Secretariat, and there was a bidding exclusion range set at 20% above and below. The contract award will be made official on 22 May when the period for potential claims from other applicants comes to an end.

Unusual conditions led to Leo Frigo Bridge deck displacement – final report

Investigations into the collapse of the I-43 Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US have determined that highly unusual environmental conditions led to the severe corrosion of the steel piles in the foundation that supported Pier 22 and which caused the vertical displacement of the bridge deck. The Leo Frigo Bridge carries four lanes of traffic over the Fox River, and consists of two 3.6m lanes, a 1.8m median shoulder, and a 3m outside shoulder. The bridge was constructed between 1978 and 1980. On September 25, 2013 bridge pier 22 sank 0.6m, causing the bridge deck to sag and the bridge to be closed for investigation and repair until January 2014.     Laboratory tests on soil and water samples taken from test pits at 20 out of the 51 piers determined that several factors had contributed to a highly unusual environment that caused the severe corrosion of the steel in the foundation that supported Pier 22.     The presence of a moist, porous fly ash fill with high levels of chlorides and sulphides combined with a low resistivity created the corrosive environment. In addition, a dense clay layer was present below the porous fly ash, leading to differential oxygen concentration and differential chemical concentrations within the fill layers. Bacteria were found at many of the piers and, according to the newly published report by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, it is likely that microbiologically influenced corrosion also played a role. Once sufficient material and support had been lost from the piles, the remaining piling became unstable, with the most heavily deteriorated sections crushing and buckling. Visual inspection and soil borings also confirmed the presence of fly ash surrounding severely corroded steel piles at Piers 21, 23 and 25, with only some corrosion at Pier 24. As a result of the initial investigation repairs were performed at Piers 21 through to 25, including the installation of new concrete drilled shaft foundations that are capable of supporting the entire pier design load. These new foundations have been connected to the existing piers and provide corrosion protection measures designed to offer 75 years of service life. The investigation and repairs cost US$15 million.   Download the report below: Volume I: text, tables & exhibits Volume II: appendices A through F Photo credit: yooperann  

Seismic retrofit design for McIlraith Bridge awarded to Parsons

Parsons has been selected to provide seismic retrofit design and construction administration services for the McIlraith Bridge in the City of Ottawa, Canada. The 202m, six-span bridge over the Rideau River will remain open during the seismic retrofit and construction with only four partial lane closures. Constructed in 1964, the McIlraith Bridge links Smyth Road on the east and Main Street on the west. The retrofit is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. Other remaining work includes a new detour, new paintwork, installation of bird screens, lane reductions and street light improvements. The installation of bird screens was a legal requirement by the Ministry of Natural Resources in order to prevent barn swallows from nesting under the bridge. As barn swallows are a protected by the Endangered Species Act, nesting activities would have potentially interrupted the construction process. The rendering below represents how the bridge will look following rehabilitation with the steelwork painted in grey and new luminaries added.

Winning designs unveiled in Atlanta bridge revamp competition

The winners have been chosen in a competition to find creative ways of improving two bridges in the US city of Atlanta. One is for the 10th Street Bridge in Midtown and the other is for the Courtland/McGill Bridge in Downtown. Both of the winning entries were selected blindly by a panel of design professionals who are considered experts in their respective fields.  The winners are: sin(uosity) - designed by the Max Neiswander and Luke Kvasnicka of Atlanta, Georgia; Organic Canopy - designed by Roger DeWeese, AIA, with Peachtree Architects of Atlanta. Organic Canopy also won the ‘people’s choice’ award for the Courtland/McGill Bridge. The people’s choice award for the 10th Street Bridge went to ‘Green City Spectator’ by KAMJZ Architects - Maciej Jakub Zawadzki and Arup. The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition had received more than 20 submissions in March. The competition jury then shortlisted five finalists that developed their ideas, including the feasibility of implementation based on a budget of up to US$3 million per bridge. Final designs were received on 8 May. “Competitions are about vision and big ideas,” said competition manager Tony Rizzuto of the Department of Architecture at Kennesaw State University. “They have the potential to take us out of our comfort zone to see possibilities we never imaged. They provide a catalyst for discourse on public space and promote the pursuit of better design.” The Atlanta Bridgescape Competition is a collaborative initiative led by Midtown Alliance, Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Architecture and Design Center, and is sponsored by Cardno.

Enerpac to build record-breaking gantry crane for offshore viaduct

Enerpac has won a contract to build a record-breaking gantry crane for use in offshore viaduct works at Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The contract was awarded by a consortium of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Vinci Construction and Demathieu Bard Construction, which is building the new coastal highway. The crane, which will have a lifting capacity of 4,800t, will be used to install the precast viaduct elements. Enerpac said that it will be world’s largest, offshore overhead gantry crane. The Enerpac crane will operate from an offshore barge. Concrete precast foundation elements - gravity base, pile head and segments - will be collected from the harbour of Reunion Island and positioned on the seabed. The crane will be used for at least 200 foundation block lifts. The 5,400m coastal highway will connect Saint Denis - the administrative capital of La Réunion - with La Possession. It replaces the existing coastal road, which is exposed to falling rocks and flooding from swells and tropical storms. Earlier this week, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and agreed to lend the Reunion regional government US$550 million for the project.

Construction begins of delayed River Wear crossing

Construction is set to begin of the long-delayed new crossing of the River Wear in the northern English city of Sunderland. A joint venture of Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction (FBV JV) has signed the construction contract and is preparing to move on to site. The new design is for a three-span cable-stayed bridge with an A-frame pylon rising to 115m. A design with curved 'bull horns' as towers had originally won a competition in 2005 but was eventually abandoned as too expensive. FVB JV will be supported Buro Happold Engineering and Roughan & O’Donovan. The overall budget is US$179 million.

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