Worlds first curved triangular orthotropic bridge wows industry

The Canada Street Cycle Bridge project is recognised as a pillar of what can be achieved within the New Zealand steel industry.

So much so, it inspired regulatory administration Steel Construction New Zealand (SCNZ) to create a supreme award in recognition of what was achieved by those involved. 

Commissioned by NZTA, the Canada Street Bridge project refers to a comprehensive 160 metre steel bridge structure, made up of 300 tonnes of steel and spanning 54 metres across the southern motorway in Hamilton, which had to be constructed within in six months.

As the steel contractor and modeller for the contract, PFS Engineering was honoured with the SCNZ Supreme Award at the 2017 SCNZ Awards for its exemplary involvement.

Commercial manager at PFS Engineering, Graham McKelvey, says the skill shown by teams on the floor and the teams out on the site to create such a high-calibre project – the only curved triangular orthotropic bridge in the world – still takes his breath away.

“To achieve the overall aesthetics of this geometrically complex bridge dictated virtually zero tolerance.”

Geometry of the bridge includes horizontal and vertical curves, haunching, pre-cambers and changing gradients along with changing spans and supports.

Fabrication of beams was dictated by what could be transported down the motorway – the longest being 33metres, which was then joined in a prepared platform next toSH1, to create a 54-metre long beam weighing 109tonne. PFS was totally reliant on 3D modelling to cut every piece of steel.

“The Canada Street Bridge’s sinuous, elegant and simple aesthetic belies the technical complexity in its design, fabrication and construction. The well thought through project ticked multiple boxes, including its speed of construction, cost effectiveness and minimal impact on the environment,” designer Duncan Bridges says.

The impression left of those who encounter the bridge is far from a biased one. The judges were too blown away with the execution and delivery of the complex and striking structure.

“The iconic Canada Street Bridge is a fantastic reflection of the versatility of steel in building and infrastructure projects, and illustrates the skill and expertise that we have in New Zealand to produce a project of this high calibre. The Canada Street Bridge does the industry proud,” they said.  

Then Transport Minister Simon Bridges hailed the cycleway as “a Jewel in the Auckland crown, in fact more than that, it is the most ambitious cycle project ever to open”.

PFS Engineering is a multifaceted company who deliberately accepts a variety of work in order to expand its repertoire of expertise, specialising however in stainless steel and carbon steel projects, site services and energy.

The Canada Street Bridge project was a comprehensive development that has become the beacon for achievement within the steel industry:               

Steel Tonnage300T
Steel ContractorPFS Engineering
Steel Modeller   PFS Engineering
Structural Engineer Novare Design
BuilderNovare Design
Architect Monk Mackenzie
Developer/owner  New Zealand Transport Authority

Article supplied by Building & Contractors Magazine, Issue #109


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