Freyssinet, a specialist civil engineering company, has announced that steady progress has been made on the work related to the eight bridges coming up on Al Nawaseeb Road in Kuwait.
With close to 90 per cent erection work completed, the Al Nawaseeb Bridges project, coming up on the main road that links the capital city to Saudi Arabia, is expected be ready by June, says the leading European engineering group based in Paris.
Freyssinet Middle East’s scope of work includes construction engineering; supervision of bridge construction works; operation of form travellers and supply and installation of post-tensioning.
For the bridge superstructure, Freyssinet Middle East is using its cast-in-situ balanced cantilever method, a construction technique where the segments are progressively cast in place in their final position within the structure.
“This is the first time our company is carrying out a project of this significance using this technique,” says a company spokesman.
The interchange involves the construction of eight bridges extending a total length of 1,736 m. It comprises 302 segments, with the maximum span being 110 m. A total of 1,198 tonnes of post-tensioned strands have been installed on the project.
“Work on the project began in January 2020 and it is due for completion in June,” he adds.
The Nuwaiseeb Road is one of the main roads in the country from Kuwait City to Saudi Arabia, and hence is a strategically important ongoing construction project.
Meanwhile, internationally Freyssinet’s teams from the UK and France recently completed the world’s longest box bridge slide of a bridge structure, to enable the future HS2 (High Speed 2) railway line to cross over the M42 motorway in Warwickshire in the UK.
The main contractor on the HS2 project is Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV). Freyssinet, a subsidiary of Vinci, was the subcontractor on the project.
The Freyssinet site team worked around the clock at the end of last year to move the 12,600-tonne bridge structure over 165 m to enable the HS2 line to cross over the motorway at Marston. It is believed to be the world’s longest box slide.
Over the last six months, the giant 86-m-long structure – which has a base, three walls and top slab – was built on land next to the motorway. Freyssinet designed and implemented the sliding mechanism, utilising its Autoripage technique for heavy handling, allowing the box to be pushed into place over the M42 motorway on a guiding raft over 165 m. The operation began on Christmas Day, with the site team working around the clock to move the 12,600-tonne bridge structure to its final position. The operation was completed in under 40 hours at a speed of 4 m per hour, finishing well ahead of the programmed schedule.
Autoripage is a patented method developed by Freyssinet, enabling the installation of a structure entirely prefabricated on a nearby base and sliding it to its final position onto bentonite grout, after completely clearing the ground. After sliding completion, backfilling is carried out to re-open the route to traffic. The method is particularly appropriate for railroad crossing.
This construction method, which allowed it to be moved into place in one movement meant only two one-week closures of the motorway over a 12-month period, dramatically reducing disruption for road users.
HS2 railway line is one of the biggest infrastructure construction projects in the world.