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 planes 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 consists 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.

Photo Credit: VINCI Photo Library

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