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ISLAND HOPPER

ISLAND HOPPER: Japan's massive Akashi Kaikyo Bridge opened this week - and with its 1990.8m suspended span replaced the Humber Bridge as the world's longest span suspension bridge. The 3911.1m overall crossing links the mainland at Kobe with its largest island Shikoku. Over 25 years of planning, design and construction across the fierce 70m deep Seto Inland Sea has produced a typhoon and earthquake proof £2500M road bridge with 283m tall steel towers supporting an open truss deck. The structure withstood the devastating 1995 Kobe earthquake nearby but one tower and its caisson foundation moved outwards extending the suspended span by 800mm and the overall bridge by 1.1m (NCE 27 June 96). Owned by the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Authority, the crossing now forms the northern of three road links to Shikoku involving the construction of 18 other long span island-hopping bridges.

The 4.8km prestressed concrete glued segmental Jamuna River Bridge, Bangladesh, was structurally completed this week ready for opening in June. Design of the £600M scheme, which includes approach roads and river protection, was by High-Point Rendel and Dutch consultant Nedeco.

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