IABSE Awards 2019

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) is pleased to announce the Laureates of the IABSE Awards 2019. The President of IABSE, Fernando Branco, will present the awards on the occasion of the IABSE’s Congress in New York City, which will be held during the ‘Opening Ceremony’ on September 4, 2019.

The IABSE Outstanding Structure Award (OStrA) was established in 1998. It is one of the highest distinctions awarded by IABSE and recognises, in different regions of the world, some of the most remarkable, innovative, creative, or otherwise stimulating structures. Sustainability and respect of the environment is also an important factor. This Award recognises the most remarkable, innovative, creative or otherwise stimulating structure completed within the last few years. The Awards are restricted to a maximum of one Award per year. The Outstanding Structure Award Committee chaired by Naeem Hussain.

Outstanding Structure Award (OStrA) 2019 is presented to Mersey Gateway Bridge UK, ‘the Mersey Gateway Bridge is an elegantly integrated solution for a multi-span concrete cable stay bridge in which form follows function.’

 Type of structure:  Three pylon cable stayed bridge
 Date of completion:  October 2017
 Location:  Across the Mersey Estuary, North West of England

 Halton Borough Council (Project Sponsor), Mersey Gateway Crossings
 Board Ltd (end Client), Merseylink Ltd (concession company)
 Structural Design:       COWI & Fhecor (Highways and drainage by Aecom & Eptisa)
 Contractor:  Merseylink Civil Contractors Joint Venture (FCC Construccion –
 Kier Infrastructure & Overseas Limited – Samsung C&T Corporation)
 Architect:  Dissing + Weitling

The Mersey Gateway Bridge is an elegantly integrated bridge, the first long span cable supported concrete bridge constructed in the UK which marks a significant advancement in the use of concrete for similar applications in the future. Not only has the bridge provided a vital new link within the region, but its positive impact will be felt for years to come, driving growth locally and regionally. The Mersey Gateway Bridge allows quicker, easier and more reliable travel across the River Mersey in Halton and the North West region. Up to 76,000 vehicles cross the bridge per day, and average vehicle speeds of 50mph demonstrate improvements in journey time, with savings across the route typically in the order of 20 minutes or more. The main feature of the Mersey Gateway project is a 1km long three-pylon cable stayed bridge across the Mersey estuary, together with 700m approach viaduct to the north and 540m viaduct to the south. The project is also a catalyst for positive change across Halton with job creation, community outreach and inward investment already being seen.

The Finalists 2019 are:

(1) Widening of the bridge over the Rande Strait – Spain
The widening of the bridge over the Rande strait is the first long span cable-stayed bridge widened in the world, being a unique milestone in the field of Structural Engineering. Its innovative design solves the functional problem proving a notary increase of the highway capacity while maximizing the use of the structural strength of the existing bridge as well as improving its dynamic behaviour. Thanks to a carefully planned methodology, the construction have been accomplished without affections to both the traffic on the existing bridge and the natural environment of Vigo estuary in a record time of 14 months for the on-site erection.

 Type of structure:  Widening of a cable-stayed bridge
 Date of completion:  December, 2017
 Location:  Rande Strait, Spain
 Ministerio de Fomento (Spanish Road Authority)
 Concessionaire:  Autopistas del Atlántico, C.E.S.A.
 Structural Design:          MC2 Estudio de Ingenieria S.L. and Dr.Manuel Juliá Vilardell
 General Contractor:  JV Dragados + Grupo Puentes

The Atlantic Motorway, AP-9, is the main North–South road route in Galicia (Spain) and crosses the Vigo estuary by means of a 400-m span cable-stayed bridge over the Rande Strait. This bridge was built between 1973 and 1977, and was opened to traffic in 1981. In 2006, the average daily traffic reached 55.000 vehicles, close to its effective capacity and therefore resulted in frequent traffic congestion conditions. In order to increase the bridge’s traffic capacity, several studies were carried out considering different alternatives. Taken into account the technical, aesthetic and economic aspects, the most favourable solution found and developed was a widening project consisting of two new external decks positioned along both the outer sides of the existing deck next to the main piers. This system allowed bridge-widening work without both interrupting the traffic on the existing bridge and affecting the Vigo estuary—a very valuable zone from a natural environmental and landscape perspective. These restrictions had a critical impact in the building process.

(2) Mukogawa Bridge – Japan

 Type of structure:  Extradosed bridge with butterfly webs
 Date of completion:  February, 2017
 Location:  Kobe city, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
 West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd.
 Structural Design:   Sumitomo Mitsui Construction
 Contractor:  Sumitomo Mitsui Construction
 Architect:  Sumitomo Mitsui Construction

This bridge is the first structure in the world combining the butterfly web and the extradosed structure. This led to a significant reduction in the total weight of the superstructure and substructure, as well as reduction in environmental impact. It also increased seismic resistance by reducing the weight of the superstructure by 20%. Butterfly webs allow easy inspection and maintenance. In consideration of the recent shortage of skilled workers in Japan, precast concrete technology was employed for labour saving construction to raise productivity. The bridge was made also highly durable with reduced maintenance cost by the use of high strength fiber reinforced concrete for the main girder webs which required no steel reinforcement and also by protection of the external surfaces of the piers with the prefabricated precast members. This bridge stands out for its innovative use of butterfly webs and steel plate for the stay cable anchorages at the top. It is an innovative extradosed bridge, which is elegant and provides a unique solution implementing advanced materials to reduce deck's self-weight.

International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) 
The mission of IABSE is to exchange knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society. To fulfil its mission, IABSE organises conferences and publishes a high quality journal, Structural Engineering International (SEI); publishes books reflecting the work of its Technical Groups; creates Task Groups, as required by new needs and technological progress; offers activities within National Groups of IABSE; supports Young Engineers with a programme, and presents annual Awards in recognition of outstanding achievements in structural engineering.

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              For more information, contact Brindarica Bose at bose@iabse.org

For more information, please contact: 
Brindarica Bose
Publications and Communications Manager
IABSE c/o ETH Zurich
Hoenggerberg HIL E21.3 
8049 Zurich 
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