Alamillo Bridge

The Alamillo Bridge, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava is in Seville, Andalusia.

The bridge was constructed to provide access to the Isla de la Cartuja, where Expo 92 was held. Here we may currently find the Isla Mágica park and the Cartuja Monastery from which the name of the Island derives.

The Alamillo Bridge does not have any retaining stay cables, which makes it the first stayed bridge without stay cables that receive the forces from one side of the tower with other stay cables on the other side.

The operating principle is that of a balance for which equilibrium is achieved by the 140-metre high pylon collapse mode at a 48º angle with the horizontal. The pylon foundation consists of fifty-four 2-metre diameter piles that are 48 metres long.

The deck is formed by a hexagonal central metal caisson, 3.40 metres edge height and variable width, containing the laterally-embedded ribs that support the reinforced concrete slab that forms the two 3-lane roadways for the bridge. Pedestrian traffic is via the central reservation on the central caisson.

Deck support is resolved with a double central stay cable system consisting of thirteen pairs of parallel stay cables in fan configuration.

Thanks to this project carried out by FCC, the basin was crossed without any form of intermediate support, the right bank was integrated into Seville and a large surface area of water was produced without any obstacles, attaining a 200-metre span that enters the technical domain of cable-stayed bridges.

The mast to which the stay cables are anchored is a composite concrete and steel structure. The transversal section is variable with a circular four-metre diameter up to elevation 76. Mast inclination permits stay-cable balance without using retention cables.

Remarkable aspects

  • This is the first cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge that does not require any type of back anchorage.
  • The bridge is the symbol of the Universal Exhibition and emblematic monument of Seville City.
  • Designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.

Client: Ministry of Public Works and Transport of the Andalusian Government

Start date: June 1989

End date: February 1992

Azud de l´Or Bridge (Calatrava)

Azud de l´Or Bridge (Calatrava)

The elegance that connects the main areas of Valencia

The Azud de l´Or Bridge takes its name from this historical hydraulic network in the city, which raises the water level and channels the ditches for allotment irrigation and connects the north and south limits of the old course of the River Turia in the City of Valencia, Spain. 

It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and constructed by FCC with this great work becoming the longest and highest bridge in Valencia.

Its lightweight structure and technical elegance provide it with unequalled aesthetic qualities, forming a harmonic assembly that is fully integrated into the architectonic environment of the “Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias” (City of the Arts and Sciences).

This cable stayed bridge has a metal structure that weighs 5,500 tonnes and is 280 metres long with a 125-metre high pylon from which 29 front cables are suspended in a harp form, together with four rear cable-tube retention assemblies The bridge is 39 metres wide. It has three lanes in each direction and an average traffic of 70,000 vehicles a day.

Furthermore, it is already prepared for a future tramway with a specific 3.5-metre lane. There is a pedestrian platform in the centre and a bicycle lane.

The metal deck is suspended from a series of cable stays anchored to a pylon. This consists of a central metal spine that follows the roadway path.

Regarding lighting, the view of the City of the Arts and Sciences is not disturbed.

The construction of this infrastructure opens one of the most important routes in Valencia City, breaks up the horizontality of the City of the Arts and Sciences and connects the Oceanogràfic, Ágora, Umbracle, Museo de las Ciencias, Hemisfèric and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia.


Remarkable aspects

  • One of the most important routes in the City of Valencia.
  • A lightweight structure that presents integrated harmonious aesthetics.
  • 180 metres long and 39 metres wide.
  • A project that combines design originality with structural singularity.

Client: Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias, S.A.

Start date: October 2004

End date: December 2008

Basarab Viaduct

Basarab Viaduct

An emblem of Bucharest

The Basarab Viaduct is located in the northwest of Bucharest, an area of greatest traffic flows and high concentration of commercial and residential buildings.

This infrastructure has four parts, the Grozavesti Viaduct, the 120-metre long arched bridge that crosses the River Damvobita, the Orchidea Viaduct and the cable-stayed bridge over the railway marshalling yard and which has an access station to the metro.

This elevated structure, is 1,950 metres long and assists the traffic flow and the passage of the main tramway arteries of Bucharest. It has a station on the braced section of the viaduct, with access to the metro lines and platforms of the Gara du Nord.


  • Total passage length, including the ramps: 1,950 metres
  • Length of the passage bridge: 1,607 metres
  • Minimum distance compared to the constructions of the North Titulescu Avenue: 14 metres
  • Width of the passage in the RATB station zone: 44.5 metres
  • Width of the passage in the Orhideelor zone: 25.5 metres
  • Total area of the RATB station: 2,000 square metres
  • Total area of the passage (bridge + ramps): 55,880 square metres
  • Total area of the passage bridge: 46,500 square metres
  • Maximum inclination of the tramway tracks: 4.7%
  • Maximum inclination of the access arms: 5.5%
  • Total area of the soil road works: 174,000 square metres


The Basarab Viaduct makes up the highway and tramway junction between the Titulescu Avenue – the Orquídeas Highway- the Grozavesti Bridge - Vasile Milea Avenue (for the tramways and the Grozavesti Highway, thus closing the main circulation ring road in northwest Bucharest.

The idea for this passage dates from 1930, but by 1940, only the metal Basarab Bridge had been achieved, which covered a length of approximately 100 metres above the railway lines.

Today, the new passage is being executed as an arch over the places where the old city quarters came into being.

Its history begins in 1863 when Mr Effingham Grant, Secretary to the British Consul in Bucharest, married the daughter of Ana Golescu (the daughter of a Romanian noble), constructed the first foundry in Bucharest, near the "Earth barrier". During this time, Grant cultivated orchids on the patio of his house   and these were the only orchids in Bucharest at the time, this lead to the Basarab highway being renamed to "The Orchid Highway".

Nowadays, the Basarab Bridge is not only an arch across time and history, but will probably become one of the city's emblems.  Romanian philately has issued a special series of stamps depicting the Basarab Bridge.

The bridge is 1,950 metres long and at the same time, is a work of art that gained two European records. one for being the widest cable-stayed bridge in Europe at 44 metres and the other for being the only bridge on continental Europe with a tramway station, with a ground-level entrance that guarantees connections with public transport, metro and railway.

This 365-metre long cable-stayed bridge is supported on two 80-metre high pylons, each one having 30 symmetrically placed cables on each side of the pylons.

The arch bridge over the River Dambovita is 124 metres long and its pylons are supported on footings on top of 40-metre deep columns. The arches have a 180-metre front.

Between the two bridges, unique structures in Romania, the highway and tramway traffic operates along a 1,500-metre long pre-stressed concrete viaduct, including the access ramps that employed an innovating tensioning method and which, just like the bridges, includes an advanced seismic protection system, applied here for the first time in Romania.

The Basarab Bridge connects the north and south of Bucharest and facilitates the traffic in the area, thus completing the main movement ring road in the northwest of the city.

Because of its construction, the Basarab Bridge becomes the largest intermodal point in Romania, joining tramway lines on the surface and below it, trolleybus lines, metro lines, two railway stations, as well as bus stations for national and international transport.

Remarkable aspects

  • ARACO (Romanian Association of Contractors) Quality Trophy awarded for the innovating technologies employed in pre-stressing and cable-stays.
  • One of the largest projects carried out in Romania in the last twenty years.

Client: Bucharest Council

Start date: 2006

End date: 2011

Construction of the Almonte Viaduct

The viaduct over the Almonte river is located in the Alcántara-Garrovillas reservoir section. It stretches 6,265 metres and forms part of the Madrid-Extremadura High Speed Line that runs through the municipalities of Garrovillas de Alconetar and Santiago del Campo in Cáceres.

The project consists of building a new high speed double-track platform. Some of its unique aspects include the fact that it crosses over the river Almonte, 996 m long, with a deck fixed upon a 14 metre-wide and 3.10 metre-thick statically indeterminate box section. This traverses the tail water of the Alcántara reservoir where it is met by the river Almonte.

The viaduct is divided into three distinct parts: two access roads and one central section. The central part has a concrete arch with an octagonal section varying in width and thickness with a span of 384 metres.

Once finished, the Almonte Viaduct will be the third largest concrete arch in the world and hold world record-breaking status in railway arch bridges, beating the two German bridges, Froschgrundsee and Grümpen, which have arches spanning 270 m. In comparison with other concrete arch bridges (regardless of use), it will be the third largest in the world behind the Wanxian bridge in China with a 421 m arch, and the KRK bridge in Croatia with a 390 m arch.

Remarkable aspects

  • Innovation regarding construction methods.
  • Innovation in materials: use of high resistance, self-compacting concrete in a significant volume.
  • Environmental innovation: creating new types of more effective bird anti-collision shields.

Enhancement of The Tarragona Drawbridge

Enhancement of The Tarragona Drawbridge

The Tarragona Drawbridge was built between the interior dock, located on the Moll de Costa where the El Serrallo maritime fleet is moored, and the Varadero dock, now in the mouth of the port.

The works joined two of the quays with the highest rate of vessel movement in the whole port: the Lleida quay, where the vehicle terminal is located, and the Reus quay, where the fruit and food supplies vessels dock.

Lorries transporting goods between the north and south quays do not have to cross the whole neighbourhood of El Serrallo and the Moll de Costa because of this bridge. 

The full project works included:

  • Connecting the Reus quay with the Lleida quay by road by means of a movable bridge over the dock and the access viaducts.
  • Expansion of the Reus quay to create access points to the movable bridge and road access to the Levante quay, Aragón quay and expanded Reus quay.

The movable bridge is made up of two 51.5 m long leaves with 80 m between supports, leaving an opening over the dock for 70 m boats to pass through. It has a metal casing section with a thickness that varies between 2.32 m in the keystone and 3.80 m in the supports. The deck is a metal orthotropic slab with a 0.8 cm layer of paving. The first 11.5 metres of the bridge contain the counterweights designed to precisely balance the weight and permanent load of the deck. It does this in such a way that the centre of gravity of the structure - deck and counterweight - coincides with the axis of rotation and its support.

The mechanisms of the movable bridge, central interlocks and interlocking piles, support bearings, hydraulic lifting system and electrical system are designed to raise and lower the movable sections with wind speeds of up to 120 km/h in two minutes.

Client: Port Authority of Tarragona

Start date: 14/08/1998

End date: 13/11/1999