Engineers Ireland - Almonte Viaduct
5th May 2021 1:00 pm
The Viaduct over River Almonte is a unique structure included in the new high-speed rail line heading from Madrid to Lisbon. This infrastructure, crosses over River Almonte, in Cáceres (Spain), through a large superior deck concrete arch bridge, spanning 384 m, extremely remarkable for a 350 km/h HSR viaduct.
The project faced very rigorous dynamic, serviceability and safety criteria, involving complex material and geometrical nonlinear staged calculations. Nevertheless, it is not a heavily rigid bridge, due to the search of aerodynamic slenderness through key design decisions: four-legged arch configuration, 80 MPa high-performance concrete, strictly cantilevered erection method with temporary tower and stays, innovative monitoring system, and other advanced analysis and construction features leading to the most likely efficient-structure.
The viaduct has been a real challenge in the design and construction of bridges and has been highly recognized by the profession due to multiple reasons, synthesized in:
- Its exceptional 384 m span, which makes it the largest railway bridge in Spain and one of the World’s largest concrete HSR arch bridges.
- The quality of its structural design, bringing together structural efficiency, out-of-plane stability (as required by HSR deformation limits), improved response against cross wind effects (verified in boundary layer wind tunnel tests), and aesthetics.
- Its environmental-friendly design and its convenience in terms of durability and maintenance.
- The use of innovative materials as the high-performance self-compacting concrete (C-80) in the arch’s execution.
- Its complex erection procedure, which required great efforts and the specific development of singular construction devices, in addition to a complete control and monitoring system.
Arenas & Asociados, in JV with IDOM, carried out several missions in this project: preliminary design, detailed design and construction project and, during construction, advanced studies and engineering services to project manager ADIF.
About the speaker
Guillermo Capellán, Technical Director Arenas & Asociados
Guillermo he has taught on structural engineering at several Spanish Universities, and is Professor of Bridge Design and Wood Structures at the University of Cantabria. He has also been invited to lecture at important institutions as the ETH Zurich or Princeton University.
CEO and Technical Director of Arenas & Asociados, Capellán is specialized in conceiving and designing signature structures, particularly urban bridges and footbridges. His approach is characterized by research-based design: optimization, form-finding, constructability and sustainability are integrated in all his work.
Throughout these years at Arenas & Asociados, he has been responsible for the design and construction of a large number of bridges, some of them worldwide recognized as the Third Millennium Bridge in Zaragoza (world largest concrete bowstring) or the currently highlighted High-Speed Rail Viaduct over River Almonte.
These structures have granted him with numerous awards, among others the ACI Excellence in Concrete Award, Gustav Lindenthal Medal, or the finalist mention in the IABSE Outstanding Structure Awards, fib Awards and ACHE Awards for the Viaduct over River Almonte; or the fib Award for Outstanding Concrete Structures, the Gustave Magnel Gold Medal or the ACHE Award for the Third Millennium Bridge.
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