INTRODUCTION TO VASCO DA GAMA BRIDGE: -
- The Vasco da Gama bridge is a cable stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and range views that spams the TARGUS RIVER (longest river on Iberian Peninsula) in parquet das nacoes in LIBSON, the capital of Portugal.
- It is the longest bridge in Europe with a total length of 12.3 km, including 0.8 km for the main bridge and 11.5 km in viaducts. The bridge is served by 4.8 km of dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congestion on Lisbon’s other bridges & to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon.
- Construction began on Feb1995; the bridge was opened to the traffic on 29 march 1998.and
- Its total length is 12.3 km
- It is 30 m wide and 155 m height
- Longest span of 420 m (1,378 ft.)
- It is designed by ARMAN DO RITO
- The bride carries six road lanes, with a speed limit of 120km/hr. the same as motorways, except on the section which is limited to 100km/h
(on windy rainy and foggy days, speed limit is reduced to 90km/h. the no. of road lanes will be enlarged to eight when traffic reaches a daily average of 52,000.
BRIDGE SECTIONS: -
- North access roads
- North viaduct – 488 m (1,601 ft.)
- Expo viaduct – 672 m (2,205 ft.); 12 sections
- Main bridge – main span: 420 m (1,378 ft.); side spans: 203 m (666 ft.) each (total length: 829 m or 2,720 ft.); cement pillars: 150 m (492 ft.)-high; free height for navigation in high tides: 45 m (148 ft.);
- Central viaduct – 6.351 km (3.95 mi); 80 pre-fabricated sections 78 m (256 ft.)-long; 81 pillars up to 95 m (312 ft.)-deep; height from 14 m (46 ft.) to 30 m (98 ft.)
- South viaduct – 3.825 km (2.38 mi); 45 m (148 ft.) sections; 84 sections; 85 pillars
- South access roads – 3.895 km (2.42 mi); includes the toll plaza (18 gates) and two service areas
CONSTRUCTION & COST OF VASCO DA GAMA BRIDGE: -
- The $1.1bn project was split in four parts, each built by a different company, and supervised by an independent consortium. There were up to 3,300 workers simultaneously on the project, which took 18 months of preparation and 18 months of construction.
- The financing is via a build-operate-transfer system by Lusoponte, a private consortium which receive the first 40-year of tolls of both Lisbon bridges.
- Lusoponte’s capital is 50.4% from Portuguese companies, 24.8% French and 24.8% British.
- As of June 2014, the toll is €2.65 per passenger car (up to €11.55 per truck (August 2013)) northbound (into Lisbon). There is no toll for southbound traffic.
- The bridge has a life expectancy of 120 years, having been designed to withstand wind speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) and hold up to an earthquake 4.5 times stronger than the historical 1755 Lisbon earthquake (estimated at 8.7 on the Richter scale).
- The deepest foundation piles, up to 2.2 m (7.2 ft.) in diameter, were driven down to 95 m (312 ft.) under mean sea level.
- Environmental pressure throughout the project resulted in the left-bank viaducts being extended inland to preserve the marshes underneath, as well as the lamp posts throughout the bridge being tilted inwards so as not to cast light on the river below.
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