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NCSPA: Structural Plate Project of the Year

NCSPA: Structural Plate Project of the Year

Construction and Execution of Emirates Road (Stage II) at Suhila & Shamal

By  Katarzyna Eltman

Located near Ras Al Khaimah in The United Arab Emirates, this overpass is a Guinness Book of World Records holder. Part of the newly constructed section of Emirates Road, this structure is also the biggest soil-steel structure in the world. The span of this massive overpass is 32.39 m (106 ft. 3 in.) with a rise of 9.56m (31 ft. 4 in). This structure also boasts the title of the first of its type in the Middle East.

The overpass was designed with several extraordinary reinforcements to increase the global safety factor including: four rows of M24 class 10.9 bolts as connections between plates, three rows of anchor bolts on the inlet and outlet as a part of the reinforced concrete collar, each of the construction ends where given a steel collar face, steel grids were installed in several rows along the entire structure on both sides and geotextile was added in a double layer above the crown. The plates were zinc coated in the factory and painted at the construction site.  The protective layers included an inside layer of epoxy + polyurethane 400 μm while the outside layer was done in epoxy + polyurethane 120 μm. From the outside, an EPDM membrane was applied as a water isolation barrier before backfilling. Inlets and outlets of arches were finished using retaining walls.

Even with all the additional measures in place, this bridge was built in half the time it would have taken to build a bridge of similar size of concrete.  It is also estimated that the bridge will last over 100 years and require less maintenance than other structures that can accommodate the same heavy traffic this bridge will endure.

The bridge near completion in the United Arab Emirates. Photo: NCSPA

Katarzyna Eltman is international Marketing Coordinator with ViaCon Group.