This crossing of the Panama Canal close to the city of Colon on the Atlantic side has a total length of 3081 m. The main cable-stayed bridge has a main span of 530 m and provides a minimum vertical clearance of 75 m above the Canal. Approach spans have lengths of 45 m, 82 m, and 125 m. The 23.6 m-wide deck carries four traffic lanes with emergency shoulders. The bridge has to withstand high seismic forces with a peak rock acceleration around 0.8 g.
The foundations consist of drilled shafts with 1.8 m and 2.5 m diameters.
The concrete superstructure for the cable-stayed spans consists of lateral concrete boxes connected with transverse diaphragms. The deck is supported by two plans of stay cables anchored along the edges. It is built in balanced cantilever with traveling forms. The delta shape pylons are 135 m-high above the roadway. The pylon legs are connected with a cross beam just under the bridge deck.
The superstructure for the approach spans consist of a single cell box girder with constant depth for the 45 m spans and variable depth for the 82 m and 125 m spans. The 45 m spans are incrementally launched while the 82 m and 125 m spans are built in balanced cantilever with traveling forms.
SYSTRA IBT was responsible for the following tasks:
• Value Engineering Design, construction drawings, and construction analysis for the main cable-stayed bridge.
• Independent design check for the approach bridges with 45 m and 82 spans.
• Fast Track
Photo Credit: VINCI Photo Library