Construction process of a pedestrian bridge in Covilhã, Portugal

Construction process of a pedestrian bridge in Covilhã, Portugal

Submission ID:

116

The construction process of large pedestrian bridges is an important option in the design stage to avoid major reformulation of the concept at later stages of the project.

Conceiving an appropriate solution to the construction of a bridge is a task usually associated with the concept of "Engineering". In a broader sense, the solutions result from teamwork, involving architects and builders.

The article deals with aspects of the construction process of a pedestrian bridge over the Ribeira da Carpinteira in Covilhã, Portugal, opened to the public in 2009. In that case, the adopted construction process was not the one foreseen in the initial design, but a solution found in the construction phase. The innovative solution can be adopted in cases of construction high above de ground.

The constructor that won the tender invited the University of Beira Interior for technical support, which allowed him to present a more advantageous proposal than that of the other competitors, namely regarding vibration control and construction process.

The bridge has a metal deck about 220 m long between abutments, with 4 intermediate pillars (Hmáx=40 m), defining 5 spans (Lmáx=49 m). In plan the bridge presents two curves of small radius that characterize the architecture of the structure.

The initially defined construction process, using heavy lifting cranes, was replaced by a more engineered alternative, using lightweight means to build the irregular deck, subdivided into three parts. The 75 m long central part was lifted with two light jacks from the top of pillars. The other two parts were launched from the abutments.

The process described in the paper permitted a reduction of costs, having been more adjusted to the difficult orographic conditions. As a general contribution, the paper shows how solutions using simple engineering principles and tools can be useful in the construction process of structures like pedestrian bridges, reducing costs and impacts in adjacent zones.

Corresponding Author

João Fonseca

University of Beira Interior

Author #1:

João Fonseca

University of Beira Interior

Author #2:

Clemente Pinto

University of Beira Interior

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

5. Methods and technologies on architectural design and urban planning

Second Preferred Track

5. Methods and technologies on architectural design and urban planning

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