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Widening of Rande Bridge recognised as second-most outstanding structure in the world

Wednesday 4 September 2019

At the International Conference of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) in New York, the Rande Bridge Widening Project in the province of Pontevedra received recognition as the first finalist for the Outstanding Structure Award. The OSTRA awards have been recognising the most outstanding, innovative and creative structures in the world since 1998.

This recognition of the project to widen the Rande Bridge follows the 2018 Segovia Aqueduct Public Works and Sustainability Award recognising the environmental protocol to protect the waters of the Vigo estuary during the works and the 2019 ITS Award for the technical coordination of the works to prevent the interruption of traffic flow.

The Rande Bridge was used by close on two million vehicles per year during the widening works (2016 and 2017) thanks to the design and coordination of the project between Audasa, the Spanish Directorate-General of Traffic and the Spanish Ministry of Public Works. Now widened with an additional two lanes and a 40% bridge capacity increase, traffic has risen by 4% to 22 million vehicles per year.

Rande Bridge Widening Project

The work to increase capacity on the stretch of the AP-9 motorway between the O Morrazo junction (KP 145+180) and the Teis junction (KP 151+100) have led to transformation and improvement of the section with the highest traffic density of any part of the Atlantic corridor highways network in the north-west Iberian Peninsula, adding a third lane to the motorway in each direction on a section of almost six kilometres in length.

Ministerio de FomentoThe project to widen the Rande Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge with a 400-metre main span and a total length of 704 metres that entered service in 1981, is the most significant milestone in the history of this infrastructure.

It was a globally pioneering and unprecedented civil engineering project given that nothing similar had been tried before either in Europe - or indeed anywhere else in the world - to laterally extend a cable-stayed bridge with such a large span as that of the Rande Bridge. It was an even greater feat when considering that the widening project was undertaken while the bridge remained in service at all times.

The Rande Bridge was widened by attaching a new metal deck to each side of the main columns at the necessary distance to resolve the width of their shafts. Each deck consists of a caisson and exterior metalwork mesh supporting a reinforced concrete slab. These structures have been attached using interior metallic meshes anchored to the original deck with a series of trusses.

The support system for the additional decks is analogous to the original system, with 80 new cable stays anchored at one end to an inverted-U metal anchoring unit located at the top of the main columns and at the other end to the caisson of the new metal deck.

Work began in February 2015 and the widening of the Rande Bridge entered service on 30 December 2017, with a total investment for widening the entire section of 191.6 million euros.

Rande Bridge in New York: the exhibition

To commemorate this major recognition, Autopistas del Atlántico, C.E.S.A. (AUDASA) has given central stage to the Rande Bridge for the Atlantic Motorway Photography Awards. A selection of 25 photographs will be displayed in New York between 4 and 14 September at La Nacional - Spanish Benevolent Society NYC (239 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011, USA).

The exhibition will then tour various cities throughout Galicia.

Non official translation