Replacement begins of anchor cables at I-90 floating bridge

Orion Marine has begun work this week to replace 21 corroded cables that anchor the I-90 floating bridges in the US state of Washington. The US$3.4 million Washington State Department of Transportation project will take until next spring to complete. One end of each cable is attached inside a bridge pontoon; the cables then extend at an angle in to the wate where the other end is hooked to a large anchor embedded in floor of the lake. Cables range in length from 113m to 227m. The cables, which prevent the bridge from undulating, are frequently exposed to strong winds and pounding waves. In some instances, the individual steel strands that twist together to create each cable are now broken after up to 29 years in use. “Worn cables pose a higher risk of breaking during a windstorm,” said Archie Allen, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge superintendent. “Broken cables increase the risk that the bridge could be damaged, resulting in a long-term closure.” There are 108 cables attached to the I-90 bridges and 15 were replaced in 2010. Replacing the cables will have very little impact on drivers because most of the work will take place on the lake bottom, inside the floating pontoons and from a work barge anchored on Lake Washington. Commercial deep-sea divers will disconnect existing cables and attach new ones, at depths of up to 55m. After a diver has disconnected a cable from the anchor on the lake bed, the cable will be winched to the surface. A second diver will descend to the lake bed with a new cable to fasten to the underwater anchor. The new cable is attached inside the bridge pontoon and tightened.

Paper bridge opens – for 10 days only

A arched bridge made entirely from paper opened in England’s Lake District on Friday and can be visited by walkers until 18 May. The 5m bright red bridge is the work of environmental artist Steve Messam and is made from 22,000 sheets of paper specially created for the project by James Cropper of Paper Mill Cumbria. Instead of using any fixings, it relies on the principles used in the dry-stone walls and packhorse bridges that dot the Lake District.  Once the 10 days are up, all the paper will then be returned to Cropper’s paper mill for recycling. It has been built at a spot at the Grisedale Valley that can be accessed by two separate paths, each involving round walk of about 8km.  The bridge is at OS grid ref NY 362 144.

Aurecon to design flood-resistant Sandy Gully Bridge

Aurecon Australasia has been appointed to carry out the detailed design of the US$45 million Sandy Gully Bridge upgrade in Queensland, Australia. The work is part of an initiative to make the Bruce Highway more flood resistant. This particular section of the Bruce Highway is regularly closed during bad weather, which has a serious effect on locals, tourists and heavy vehicles travelling through the region. The 3.6km section that is being upgraded includes the new two-lane bridge and improvements to two key intersections. Construction is expected to begin in the middle of next year. 

China Harbour starts building 2.7km Brunei bridge

Construction is now under way of the Pulau Muara Besar Bridge in Brunei. The bridge linking the island of Pulau Muara Besar to Jalan Perusahaan in Serasa is intended to improve connectivity and open up investment in industry in the area. The bridge will be built by China Harbour Engineering Company, which was represented by its chairman Mo Wen He at a combined contract signing and groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday. The Brunei Economic Development Board project also includes construction of 3km of road on the island.

Dubai begins work on Bluewaters Island bridge

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has begun construction of a US$129 million bridge that will provide a link to Bluewaters Island. The island, which is located just off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, is being developed as a tourist attraction that will include Dubai Eye - a Ferris wheel set to be the largest of its kind in the world. The entrance of the island comprises a 1,400m-long main bridge with two traffic lanes in each direction as well as 5.5m-wide lanes for an automated personal rapid transit system connecting to a metro station. The island development will also include a new footbridge and a cable car.

Contract awarded for USA’s longest cable-stayed span

A joint venture of Flatiron and Dragados has won the contract for the new Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi, Texas. The 504m main span will be the longest of any cable-stayed bridge in the USA. The joint venture, which was selected by Texas Transportation Commission, will carry out the design, construction and maintenance of the new structure. Construction is expected take five years, beginning in late 2015 or early 2016. Maintenance costs for the old bridge had been escalating and its replacement has been in the works for 14 years.  

Foundation stone laid for Doha Link

Kuwait's minister of public works has laid the foundation stone for the 12km Doha Link bridge. South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction Corporation won a US$532 million contract last year to build the link between Shuwaikh Port and the Doha Peninsula. Public works minister Ahmad Al-Jassar said that the project is complementary to the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah Causeway. The Doha Link has a four-year project schedule to ensure that its completion coincides with that of the causeway.

Connecticut prepares for Norwalk Bridge replacement

Interim repairs have been completed at the Walk Railroad Bridge in the US state of Connecticut to keep it in service until construction of a replacement crossing begins next year. State governor Dannel Malloy and Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) commissioner James Redeker announced yesterday that the design for the new bridge in Norwalk is progressing on schedule.  The bridge, which which was first built in 1896, carries four tracks over the Norwalk River and opens and opens to allow the passage of marine traffic below. It failed to close properly twice in 2014, causing rail travel disruptions. Interim repairs to address the problems have now been finished, which will help ensure its reliability until its replacement is built. The interim repairs have included modifications to the assemblies that lift the rail clear to allow the bridge to swing. The project has also involved the installation of electronic switches that prevent the various gears from over-rotating, which was the cause of the failures last year. The recent work was done in combination with a project already under way to replace rails and ties on the bridge.     The new crossing will feature twin bascule bridges. In November 2014, the State Bond Commission approved more than US$53 million for CTDOT to begin work on the replacement.  The state bond money will be supplemented by a US$161 million federal grant.

Calatrava wins first Chinese bridge contract

Architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has won his first bridge design contract in China. He has been appointed for the design of three highway and pedestrian bridges in the new city of Huashan, which is being developed near Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Aecom is producing the masterplan for the new city, which will be divided into five distinct districts. Calatrava’s three bridges will cross a new canal that bisects the urban core and joins two lakes. He said: “It gives me great personal satisfaction and represents a grand challenge that I face with great enthusiasm to help develop this ambitious project that enables me to design my first bridges in the Far East."

Giant floating crane completes first lift for New NY Bridge

The massive floating crane brought in to help build the New NY Bridge has carried out its first lift for the project. The floating sheerleg crane – one of the world’s largest – hoisted a 600t precast concrete pile cap into place for the bridge, which will replace the Tappan Zee in New York, USA. Photo: New York State Thruway Authority The ‘I Lift NY’ crane lifted the pile cap during a three-and-a-half hour operation on the Hudson River. The crane is owned by Tappan Zee Constructors, the design-build contractor for the US$3.14 New York State Thruway Authority project. Tappan Zee Constructors is made up of Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge, Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros. “We brought in the I Lift NY super crane to reduce construction time and cost, and this first lift is another symbol that the New NY Bridge is officially on the way,” said Thruway acting executive director Robert Megna. “The crane is a key tool to building the bridge in a safer, more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way. With savings of more than a billion dollars for tollpayers, this super crane will continue to do great work." I Lift NY will continue to lift and place sections of the new twin-span bridge - some weighing from 900t to 1,100t -  and will assist with the dismantling of the existing 60-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge. The super crane’s boom is 100m and can lift up to 1,900t. It made a 9,600km journey to the site last year from the San Francisco Bay area, where - then called the 'Left Coast Lifter' - it had worked on the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

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