A floating bridge design being developed for the Norwegian government could prove a cheap way of linking islands all over the world, the firm behind it has claimed.
Norwegian civil and structural engineering company Degree of Freedom is working with local engineering advisory firm Multiconsult and the country’s government to produce a cost-effective crossing over water that does not need to be navigable.
“The idea is to be able to use it in a lot of different places and to make it scalable,” said Degree of Freedom partner and director Felice Allievi. “If we come out with something that works with the challenge we have now in Norway – really, you could use it everywhere.”
Floating bridges could be built as a series of repeatable units where the per-metre cost would remain the same without the traditional step change in cost associated with increasing distance.
“Compared to the cost [of a suspension bridge] - it’s very low,” said Allievi. “If you compare 4km to 6km on the same sea depth, the price per square metre doesn’t change,” said Allievi.
Speaking at the ICE bridges conference, Multiconsult bridge director Birger Opgard described the crossing as being made up of a series of stationary sections joined by a chain-link that is free to move.
“It’s like a chain on a bicycle,” said Birger.
The stationary elements, he said would be supported by pontoons, and anchored in place with cables to the sea bed.
On plan the bridge is S-shaped with the cables to the sea bed placed on the outside of each of the bends like eyelashes.
“When the waves come from one side there is tension in half of the anchors and the others will be slack, but there is tension in the bridge,” said Birger.
The development team hopes the research will come to fruition within the next two years.