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ROAD RAVE

First of two curved profile bridge decks for the new Dublin to Belfast motorway is now in place over the environmentally sensitive Broad Meadow estuary north of Dublin. The contractor, Nuttall/Ascom joint venture, is now extending its twin out to complete a second, five-span 320m long two-lane carriageway. The pull launch operation, carefully engineered by the joint venture's consultant Robert Benaim, is thought to be unique, since the bridge's curved soffit creates complex loading, steering and balancing problems as the deck slides out. Benaim's design replaces an original balanced cantilever construction envisaged by main bridge designer Arup Ireland, which would have meant concreting over the water and possible pollution problems as a result. Client Fingal County Council is agent for Ireland's National Roads Authority on the £53M scheme.

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