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Spain: Widening the Rande Bridge

The widening of this iconic bridge required the installation of 80 Freyssinet stay cables.

Spanning the Rande Strait in the Vigo Estuary in Galicia, the Rande Bridge is seen as a major civil engineering structure in Spain. With its 400-metre span and four traffic lanes, it was the largest cable-stayed bridge in the world when it was opened in 1981.

To cope with dense traffic which in summer peaks at 70,000 vehicles per day, the concession holder Audasa obtained approval in 2011 to widen this cable-stayed bridge – a pioneering achievement. Led by engineering firm MC2, this innovative project involved adding two 7-metre-wide metal decks connected to the existing structure using hinged joints supported by 80 Freyssinet H2000 stay cables.

This solution was designed to target maximum usage of the existing structure whilst also avoiding any interruption of traffic. This created a challenge for the Freyssinet H2000 stay cable system, since the anchor points were subjected to rotation exceeding 50 mrad and stress in the order of 10 % of nominal values during construction until commissioning of the bridge.

The contractor on the project was a temporary joint venture (UTE) formed by Dragados-Grupo Puentes with technical support from Fhecor-Pondio and additional technical support from the owner provided via MC2 and APIA XXI.

920 tonnes of strand
were installed in less than six months in order to meet the client’s contractual scheduling requirements.

The widened bridge was completed at the end of the year and opened by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on 30 December 2017. It is now used by 95,000 vehicles per day, 20,000 more than before the widening work.