Construction of the Rio–Antirrio Bridge in Greece
The Rio–Antirrio Bridge, officially the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, is one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and longest of the fully suspended type. It crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio on the Peloponnese peninsula to Antirrio on mainland Greece by road. It opened one day before the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, on 12 August 2004, and was used to transport the Olympic Flame.
Other name(s): Harilaos Trikoupis Bridge
Beginning of works: 1999
Completion: 7 August 2004
Status: in use
Total length: 2880.4 m
Main span: 560 m
Length: 2 252 m
Span lengths: 286 m – 3 × 560 m – 286 m
Deck deck depth: 2.82 m
Deck width: 27.20 m
Girder depth: 2.75 m
Pylons pylon height (above deck): 113.00 m
Structure: Multiple-span cable-stayed bridge
Cable-stayed bridge with semi-fan system
Function / usage: Motorway bridge / freeway bridge
Material: Steel-reinforced concrete composite bridge
Location: Rion, Achaea, West Greece, Greece. Antirion, Aitolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece
Coordinates: 38° 19′ 1.00″ N 21° 46′ 31.00″ E
The bridge consists of the following structures:
- The main bridge which is a multi-span cable-stayed bridge, 2,252 meter long, with a span distribution equal to 286m-560m-560m-560m-286m.
- Two approach viaducts, with 392 meters on Rion side (composite deck) and 239 meters on Antirion side (prestressed simple supported beams).
As already mentioned, the upper soil layers, under the pylon foundation, are reinforced with inclusions, which are 2-m diameter hollow steel pipes 25 to 30 meters long driven at a regular spacing of 7 meters. About 110-200 pipes, depending on the case, are driven in at each pier location. A three meter thick, properly levelled, gravel layer tops them. Foundations (consisting of 32 caissons) are 90-meter diameter reinforced concrete caissons (called footing) resting on the gravel layer.
A cone whose diameter ranges from 38 meters to 26 meters forms the lower part of the pier. The upper pier bears an octagon section structure (pier shaft) and a reverse pyramid with a height of about 15 meters (pier head). Each pylon is composed of a 38-meter sided square base (pylon base), and four reinforced concrete legs. The legs, with a section of 4 by 4 meters, are embedded in the 4 corners of the pylon base to form a monolithic structure. They join at the top to the pylon head to give the necessary rigidity to support unsymmetrical service loads and seismic forces.
The environment in which the bridge was constructed combines a number of physical challenges and thus makes this project quite complex: strait of about 2.500m wide, deep water (up to 65 m) combined with deep soil strata of weak alluviums, possibility of strong seismic activity, tectonic movements and adverse high wind actions.
The seabed profile presents steep slopes on each side and a long horizontal plateau about 60 meters below sea level. No bedrock had been encountered during investigations down to a depth of 100 meters below seabed. Based on a geological study, it is believed that the thickness of sediments made of thick layers of clay mixed in some areas with fine sand and silt is greater than 500 meters.
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