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Capital check

Mouchel is set to provide construction supervision in the form of quality assurance monitoring for the US$32M strengthening and refurbishment of the Puente Duarte suspension bridge in the Dominican Republic.

Contractor for the works is local firm Samuel S Conde y Asociados C pro A under a design and construct deal with the Dominican government. Work started this summer and is expected to take two years.

Puente Duarte is the main crossing over the Ozama river on a strategic highway route that links the two halves of of the capital Santo Domingo. The bridge was built in the 1950s, is 330m long and carries a dual two lane carriageway 30m above the river. Its main suspended span measures 180m and there are five approach spans of 30m each.

The structure is riveted steel with a concrete road deck supported by main and secondary steel beams and a steel stiffening truss. The side spans are supported on trusses and piers independently of the suspension system.

Over the next two years the entire suspension system will be replaced, new supplementary anchorages constructed, the main towers strengthened, and many of the steelwork superstructure members will be repaired or replaced. The concrete carriageway will also need patch repair or complete bays replaced.

Mouchel carried out a detailed inspection and assessment of the bridge in 1993. This showed that the main suspension cables had suffered severe corrosion, particularly at the tower saddles and in one of the anchorage chambers. The hangers were also corroded, although less severely, and the main towers and rivets below carriageway level had deteriorated.

Reader enquiry no 805

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