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Achieving the inconceivable: Vladivostok's record-breaking bridge


Achieving the inconceivable: Vladivostok's record-breaking bridge

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Trans-Siberian terminal Vladivostok, on the borders of the Russian Far East, has set a new world record for one of its two cable-stayed bridges. One of them, the Golden Horn Bay Bridge, is in the centre of the city.

The second, the record-breaking Russky Bridge, is a work of art connecting the mainland to Russky Island. With a central span of 1,104 metres, it smashes the previous record by some 16 metres.

China’s Sutong Bridge held the record before, with 1,088 metres of central span.

The bridge is designed to withstand winds of up to 250 km/h. To reduce movement in such conditions, each cable has its own shock resistor at the bottom.

French company Freyssinet designed the bridge:

“We know that, with sheaths of a certain diameter, we need to put in more steel cables than our competitors,” explained Freyssinet engineer Daniel Le Bon. “So we can, in a way, reduce the efforts of wind on the structure.”

A scale model of the bridge was tested in the wind tunnel at the Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB) in Nantes (France). The end of the orthotropic steel deck was held by stays connected to “A” towers made of C60 high-performance concrete. At 320 metres high, the towers were the same height as the Eiffel Tower.

“We worked at temperatures of as low as minus 40 degrees, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Le Bon.

In 2012, Vladivostok hosted the 24th APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – summit, providing an opportunity to modernise the 600,000 inhabitant-city.

Major projects were launched, such as building an opera house, a university, and sanitation network.

The most ambitious, and perhaps symbolic, of all was probably the construction of the two giant cable-stayed bridges, one of which is now the longest in the world.

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