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Bridge Marvel Wins Engineering Award

Friday, November 22, 2013

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China’s Taizhou Bridge—the world’s longest double-span suspension bridge—has taken top honors from the world's leading structural engineering organization.

The UK-based Institution of Structural Engineers announced that honor and others at its annual Structural Awards ceremony Nov. 15 in London.

"The Institution of Structural Engineers holds The Structural Awards each year to showcase the challenging environments in which engineers work and the complex structures they help to raise," Y.K. Cheng, president of the Institution of Structural Engineers, said in statement.

Taizhou Bridge
Photos: The Institute of Structural Engineers

The Taizhou Bridge over the Yangtze River in China (shown here under construction) won both the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence and the Award for Highway or Railway Bridge Structures from the Institute of Structural Engineers.

The Structural Awards were established in 1968. This year, over 80 projects were submitted.

Pushing the Frontiers of Bridge Technology

The Taizhou Bridge over the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China, won both The Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence and the Award for Highway or Railway Bridge Structures.

The Supreme Award recognizes one of the projects that wins in the principle categories and is awarded to the "finest example of structural engineering design entered that year."

Opened to traffic in November 2012, the Taizhou Bridge is the world's first long-span, three-tower suspension bridge. It was designed by Jiangsu Provincial Communications Planning and Design Institute along with AECOM Asia Company Ltd.

The bridge's two main spans stretch 1,080 meters (3,543 feet) and carry six lanes of traffic over two navigation channels of the Yangtze River. The bridge's entire length is 2,940 meters (9,650 feet).

Asymmetric live loading—a unique feature of the bridge—took considerable research and development efforts to solve the issues it created. The design team developed solutions that included a central tower that was required to be both stiff and flexible.

Institute of Structural Engineers

The Taizhou Bridge, which opened to traffic in November 2012, is hailed as the world's longest double-span suspension bridge. Its total length is 9,650 feet, with the two main spans stretching 3,543 feet.

"This enormous project was an extraordinary achievement, which pushed the frontiers of suspension bridge technology to new heights," the judges said. "The judges feel that it lays out an excellent model for the future development of long-span bridges across the world."

11 Other Project Winners

The Award for Sustainability went to the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station. This award is presented to projects where outstanding commitment to sustainability and respect for the environment is integral to the structural design. Entries are considered from projects entered in the principle categories.

The other award categories and winners were:

"The aim is to recognize the astonishing range of skills that characterise our global profession, raise awareness among the general public, and encourage young people into structural engineering careers," said Cheng. "This year, we have once again enjoyed a high standard of innovative entries, and I congratulate all our winners on their achievements."

Structural Engineering Awards

"This enormous project was an extraordinary achievement, which pushed the frontiers of suspension bridge technology to new heights," the judges said.

The awards event raised £1,940 ($3,122 USD) for RedR, a disaster relief charity that the Institution supports.

About the Institution

Based in the UK, the Institution of Structural Engineers is a leading professional body for qualifications and standards in structural engineering. The group's core work is to support and protect the profession by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice for structural engineers.

The organization has more than 27,000 members working in 105 countries. The Institution was founded in 1908 as The Concrete Institute and expanded to embrace structural engineering in 1912.

   

Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Bridges; Design; Engineers

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