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Widening the cable-stayed bridge over the Rande strait: an engineering milestone



The AP-9 Atlantic Motorway crosses the Vigo estuary via the 400-metre-span, cable-stayed Rande Bridge. Widening the Rande Bridge forms part of the motorway expansion works that will achieve a 42% capacity increase and address rising traffic volumes.

The works to widen the iconic Rande Bridge were the most spectacular of all the widening works between O Morrazo and Teis, due to their technical complexity. They were based on three fundamental design considerations: maximum use of the existing bridge structure, zero impact on traffic and road safety, and zero environmental impact on the estuary.

The design solution comprises a new carriageway in each direction added to both external sides of the existing deck, thus widening the bridge capacity from two to three lanes in each direction. The new carriageways are suspended by two new families of stays anchored to the towers using a special steel box structure.

Works were carried out from the sea using construction systems that were specifically designed to meet the design considerations. The deck was widened in a record time of 18 months.

This project marks a global milestone for engineering, being the first time a long-span cable-stayed bridge has been widened. Moreover, the works were carried out without interrupting traffic on the existing bridge.

TYPSA Group’s subsidiary, MC2 Estudio de Ingeniería, prepared the design to widen the cable-stayed bridge and provided the construction engineering and supervision services.

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