FCC crews labored through 8-meter fluctuations in river levels, 70° fluctuations in temperature and marine traffic carrying 13 million tons of cargo annually to build the $375.7-million, 2-kilometer-long New Europe Bridge. Now the longest Danube River crossing, the extradosed bridge not only enhances commerce between northern and southern Europe but symbolizes renewed relations between Bulgaria and Romania.
Foundations as deep as 80 m, with 2,000-millimeter-dia concrete piles, support the extradosed cable structure, which sports pylons rising 21 m above the deck. Forty-five segmental match-cast deck-girder sections, each weighing up to 250 tonnes, were placed within tolerances of 0.1 mm. The team also used specialized components, such as stay-cable saddles and duct couplers for the deck segments, to enhance ease of maintenance.
The bridge cuts 500 kilometers off the trips of trucks driving between Turkey and Greece and northern Europe, and the international participation in the project helped boost new businesses in one of the poorest regions in the Balkans. Within four months of its 2013 opening, the bridge had facilitated 176,000 vehicles, easily surpassing the original estimate of 100,000 vehicles for the first year.
Owner: Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications
Lead Design Firms: FCC Construcción S.A., Barcelona, Spain, and Carlos Fernandez Casado S.L., Madrid
Contractor: FCC Construcción S.A.