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Hadid bridge is open for Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Bridge with its unique and complicated arch structure opens this week in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The eight-lane, 845m long bridge connects the emirate to the mainland. It features a combination of concrete pre-stressed boxes of 170m span, steel arches up to 60m high and cable stayed supports.

The Zaha Hadid-designed crossing will be the third between the Emirate’s island city centre and rapidly expanding mainland suburbs, and is needed to cope with increasing traffic demands.

Completion of the bridge will mark 13 years of involvement for consultant High Point Rendel (HPR).

During this time, the firm has completed alternative design schemes, development of design concepts, detailed design, tender document preparation and evaluation, and is currently supervising construction onsite.

“The successful completion of the landmark Sheikh Zayed Bridge is the culmination of the efforts of many loyal and committed individuals and organisations who have worked resolutely over the past 13 years,” said Vardy Jones, HPR’s director of project delivery.

Greek firm Archirodon and local firm Six Construct are building the AED1bn (£170M) bridge.

Work began in July 2003, with contractors encountering a number of setbacks due to the complicated nature of the bridge design.

The most significant delay occurred when it emerged that Archirodon had a different construction sequence in mind to that proposed by the designers (NCE 4 December 2008).

Since the support of the structure is continuous, this required a review of the complete design to ensure stresses remained within design limits.

The bridge essentially consists of 11 deck span sections and three pairs of structural arches, the largest of which is 63m high. The main aches sit between the two, four lane carriageways and support their inner edges by pairs of hangers at five locations.

The entire structure is supported by 16km of 1.5m diameter bored piles, each around 30m long. There are 144 under the central pier alone and the pile cap is 5m deep.

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