Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cable-Stayed Bridges - Sundial Bridge (2)

Since we looked at a Calatrava-like bridge yesterday, I thought we might as well look at the real thing today.

I visited Calatrava's Sundial Bridge while it was being constructed (it's located on the Sacramento River just south of Redding in Turtle Bay). The engineer in charge felt that this project was different from a regular bridge construction project. For one thing, no one had any idea how much the bridge would cost. The owners just kept providing money until it got built. Also, the engineer complained that Calatrava provided very little engineering support for the project. Most of the details and much of the analysis was done by the project engineer. Finally, there were a lot of delays with the fabrication of the steel segments used to assemble the tower. The geometry of the sections and how they fit together must have been a matter of some concern since there were several models of the tower constructed of cardboard on the engineer's desk. I don't think Caltrava ever visited the site while the bridge was being constructed. Despite all of the problems, the owners were fortunate that they persevered and got an original Caltrava-designed bridge in the end.

In this photo, the tower is sitting on three bearings on the east side of the river while the skeletal superstructure is being assembled. Once the east side of the bridge was assembled, they had to take apart the crane and rebuild it on the west side of the river. We'll take another look at this interesting bridge tomorrow.

Creative Commons License
Cable-Stayed Bridges - Sundial Bridge (2) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

  1. There's a great article at modernsteel.com which explains the difficulties in designing and building this bridge, including the need for the cardboard model!