In sync with the tides
The floating bridge structure comprises:
- Concrete pontoons forming a floating road.
- Steel ramps joining the fixed abutments with the concrete pontoon subjected to a variable tidal level.
- Opening Door Pontoons allows the bridge to open for marine navigation along the Dubai Creek.
The pontoons were prefabricated on dry land by casting high performance fiber reinforced concrete with wall thickness of 120 mm to 160 mm around polystyrene blocks. In order to reduce the weight and the draught of the structure no concrete bottom slab is provided. The polystyrene and the concrete structure are however protected with a 1.5 mm coat of elastic aromatic polyurea material which protects the structure on all sides from water ingress and any ambiental deterioration.
The concrete pontoon units of 94 tons weight each were lowered into the water by a 280-t crawler crane, were then temporarily joined together by a fishplate system and permanently connected by a concrete box girder backbone system. The floating road elements are kept in their position in the Creek by a system of driven, sand filled, steel dolphin piles
Ramps and Abutments
The aim of the 54m long steel ramp is to connect the land (+3.0 m) with the floating road having variable height due to tidal movement.
The two main girders are spaced 13m apart and supplemented with cross girders spaced at 3.2m and an orthotropic deck plate 12 mm thick with trapezoid ribs. On the land side the through bridges are linked to concrete abutment blocks by means of spherically adjustable bearings. On the seaside the bridge ramps are supported by two portal frames, at this location the ramps are supported by 2 hydraulic cylinders each suspended from the portal frames. The hydraulic cylinders are each controlled by a water level sensor via the central PLC system that automatically lowers or lifts the ramps in accordance with the tidal movements.
Opening Door – Door Pontoon
In the center of the concrete pontoon bridge there is a 36 m wide opening to serve marine navigation.
This gap is bridged by two door pontoons consisting of a trough-bridge, this trough bridge rests on two steel floaters each measuring 20 m x 7.2 m x 2.2 m. This door pontoons can rotate about a pivot equipment with a sliding bearing made of bronze and stainless steel affixed onto a dolphin pile which is designed to operate with almost no-maintenance. The rotation angle is 180°. When the floating bridge is open for vehicular traffic the two door pontoons are each locked into the adjacent floating bridge elements by means of hydraulically operated locks at all its four corners.
The door pontoons are each rotated by means of two Marine Propulsion outboard Units of 100hp each. The propulsion units are manually controlled by two operators, one for each door pontoon.
Running out of space on land? No problem – just branch out onto the water. Modular floating pontoon systems can be used as buoyant terraces, walkways, stages or platforms to gain more space.
Pontoon bridges from sustainable ecosystems, for the marine environment in which they exist. They are resilient to deterioration in comparison to conventional bridges and are easily maintained.
The best part is that if the structure is not intended to be set up permanently, there are floating pontoons that are easy to assemble and dismantle and can be securely anchored for a temporary period.
Modular floating pontoon systems can be used as bridges over large bodies of water. The stable structure can support heavy weights, allowing vehicles and pedestrians safe passage, linking the key city infrastructures from one side of the creek to another.