Broken bolts investigated in Nipigon Bridge closure

Failed bolts on a bearing are being investigated after the sudden closure of the new Nipigon Bridge, which completely severed the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, Canada last weekend. Bolts on one of the hold-down bearings under the side-span edge girder are understood to have failed and allowed the girder to move upwards. The bridge was closed at 3pm local time on 10 January when the bolts failed, resulting in the western edge of the cable-stayed span rising by about 600mm at the expansion joint. The following day it reopened to single-lane traffic after engineers loaded the deck to bring it back into alignment. There is no indication yet as to how long repairs could take.  The 252m-long bridge across the Nipigon River carries Highway 11/17, which forms part of the Trans-Canada Highway linking the country's ten provinces. The bridge is being built in two halves, and the first half, which was opened two months ago, carries two lanes of traffic. Contractor for the project is Bot Construction and Ferrovial Agroman, and the engineering design is by McCormick Rankin Corporation in conjunction with Buckland & Taylor. Hatch Mott MacDonald is responsible for construction contract administration services. 

Broken bolts investigated in Nipigon Bridge closure

Failed bolts on a bearing are being investigated after the sudden closure of the new Nipigon Bridge, which completely severed the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, Canada last weekend. Bolts on one of the hold-down bearings under the side-span edge girder are understood to have failed and allowed the girder to move upwards. The bridge was closed at 3pm local time on 10 January when the bolts failed, resulting in the western edge of the cable-stayed span rising by about 600mm at the expansion joint. The following day it reopened to single-lane traffic after engineers loaded the deck to bring it back into alignment. There is no indication yet as to how long repairs could take.  The 252m-long bridge across the Nipigon River carries Highway 11/17, which forms part of the Trans-Canada Highway linking the country's ten provinces. The bridge is being built in two halves, and the first half, which was opened two months ago, carries two lanes of traffic. Contractor for the project is Bot Construction and Ferrovial Agroman, and the engineering design is by McCormick Rankin Corporation in conjunction with Buckland & Taylor. Hatch Mott MacDonald is responsible for construction contract administration services. 

Opening date announced for record-breaking floating bridge

Washington State Department of Transportation in the USA has announced that it will host a weekend of celebrations in April to mark the completion of the world’s longest floating bridge. The weekend festivities on the 2.4km-long State Route 520 floating bridge will kick off on 2 April with a community fun run and walk. The new SR 520 floating bridge will open to traffic in stages, using two weekend closures in the weeks following the grand opening weekend celebration. Crews will then decommission the old bridge and remove it by floating it out in sections. The floating bridge will have two general-purpose lanes and one transit-car pool lane in each direction. It has been built to withstand stronger wind storms and wave action than the existing bridge and includes wide shoulders for broken-down vehicles.

Opening date announced for record-breaking floating bridge

Washington State Department of Transportation in the USA has announced that it will host a weekend of celebrations in April to mark the completion of the world’s longest floating bridge. The weekend festivities on the 2.4km-long State Route 520 floating bridge will kick off on 2 April with a community fun run and walk. The new SR 520 floating bridge will open to traffic in stages, using two weekend closures in the weeks following the grand opening weekend celebration. Crews will then decommission the old bridge and remove it by floating it out in sections. The floating bridge will have two general-purpose lanes and one transit-car pool lane in each direction. It has been built to withstand stronger wind storms and wave action than the existing bridge and includes wide shoulders for broken-down vehicles.

Corpus Christi bridge replacement clears final hurdle

The replacement of the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge in Texas can now move forward to construction following federal approval of the project. The 504m main span will be the longest of any cable-stayed bridge in the USA. A joint venture of Flatiron and Dragados was awarded the contract last year (link opens in new tab). A record of decision awarded last week by the Federal Highway Administration marks the last major hurdle towards replacing the bridge. Judy Hawley, who chairs the Port Commission of the Port of Corpus Christi, said: “This is a monumental decision for the Coastal Bend and the State of Texas. The Port Commission’s substantial financial commitment ensures that 60,000 vehicles a day will have a safe, structurally sound bridge. Having a world class 21st century bridge will support the state’s economic growth for decades to come. Congratulations to our city, state and federal colleagues who have been championing this new bridge for nearly two decades.” The existing bridge was built in the 1950s.

New Dutch bridge restores dockyard access after 360 years

A bridge being opened today will restore public access to Amsterdam’s former historical naval dockyard for the first time in nearly 400 years. The new bridge to the Marineterrein has been built by Van Hattum & Blankevoort to a design by Arup and architect Jeroen van Mechelen. It has been designed to have a life of just five years as the area is still being developed and the location for a permanent bridge is still to be decided. In December 2013 the city of Amsterdam and the government signed an agreement to redevelop the Marineterrein, including the decision to build a temporary pedestrian and cycle bridge to unlock the area. The historic area in the heart of Amsterdam has been closed off to the public since 1655 while in use by the Royal Dutch Navy. The budget for the temporary bridge was US$1.1 million euros and the design, permissions and construction had to be finished within one year. The Netherlands holds the presidency of the European Union in the first half year of this year and it was important to finish the project before the Marineterrein is used for EU meetings. The swing bridge offers a fast connection between the Central Station area and the Kattenburg quarter and opens to allow shipping to pass by. Architect Jeroen van Mechelen and Arup advised the city of Amsterdam and provided a sketch design of a crossing that could be achieved within the budget and time limits. The city held a design, build and maintenance contest for contractors without a prescriptive design, with a minimum set of requirements and a ceiling price of US$1.1 million. The specifications were focused on the minimum shipping clearance and the five-year design life and maintenance period. Contractor Van Hattum & Blankevoort won the tender for the bridge over the Dijksgracht canal. The final design was delivered by Arup in collaboration with Jeroen van Mechelen.

Argentina announces plan for bridge in popular tourist spot

The governor of the Argentinian province of Cordoba has announced plans for a new highway including a bridge over San Roque Lake. The scheme is intended to improve traffic in the region, which is a popular tourist destination. The 300m-long arch bridge will include footpaths on both sides to enable walkers to take in views of the mountains and the reservoir. Governor Juan Schiaretti said that the project has an estimated cost of between US$43 million and US$47 million. Construction is due to start this summer and take 20 months.

Dar Al-Handasah wins design of Bahrain bridge

Dar Al-Handasah Consultants has been appointed to design the Dilmunia Gateway Bridge in Bahrain. Ithmaar Development Company (IDC) has signed an agreement with the consultant for the design of the bridge, which will connect the US$1.6bn man-made Dilmunia Island to the mainland. The development of the 125ha island is being managed by IDC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank. The island combines health and wellness facilities with residences, hotels, leisure and shopping districts. “Our target is to provide IDC with a high-quality service to ensure the fulfilment of their objective by developing a futuristic landmark that will stand out to be the signature identity of Dilmunia island,” said Dar AI-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) director of operations for the UAE, Bahrain and Oman, Bassam Shakhshir.

Contract awarded for Cebu-Cordova Bridge

Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation has been officially awarded the contract for the Cebu-Cordova Bridge in the Philippines. The contract with the city of Cebu and the municipality of Cordova covers the financing, design, construction, implementation, operation and maintenance of the bridge and the associated 8.25km toll road. The project is estimated to cost up to about US$570 million. Cebu-Cordova Bridge is designed to relieve increasing traffic congestion on the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mandaue Bridge. It will be built about 7.5km south of the Mandaue Bridge and will take off from the Cebu South Coastal Road crossing the Mactan Channel to Mactan Island. Construction is expected to start next year for completion by 2020.

Work set to start on 920m Dubai bridge

Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and Emaar Properties have approved the award of a contract to build a new 920m-long bridge to serve the expansion of the Dubai Mall shopping centre. The two-lane bridge will cross the Dubai Water Canal, linking Al Khail Road with Financial Center Road. It is being built to accommodate further development of Dubai Mall being undertaken by Emaar Properties. The record-breaking shopping and entertainment centre is being expanded to enable it to accommodate more than 100 million visitors a year. The bridge project has a US$33 million price tag and is expected to be completed early 2017.  

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