The Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge, a new vertical lift bridge crossing the Garonne River, is the largest lift bridge in Europe, boasting a central span of 117 meters long, 2600 tons and rises to a staggering height of 53 meters in order to allow passenger liners and large sailboats to pass underneath.
Hardesty & Hanover provided conceptual design, detailed final design construction support and supervision documents working in conjunction with the Vinci Group, the Design-Build Contractor, and the Design Consortium of EGIS Jean Muller International; Michel Virlogeux; and Lavigne-Cheron Architects. The lift span has a symmetric cross section and carry four traffic lanes—two monorail tracks and two outboard sidewalk/bikeways. Four, independent pylon towers – one at each corner of the lift span – will allow a counterweight (a quarter of the total lift span weight) to travel vertically inside each pylon.
Operation of the lift span is achieved via high strength wire ropes passing over sheaves that connect the lift span to the counterweights. A wire rope winch drive operating system with electric motor and flux vector regenerative drives haul in and payout the counterweights, thereby raising and lowering the lift span.
WireCo WorldGroup’s wire rope facility in Kirkel-Limbach, Germany produced over 4,600 meters (nearly three miles) of CASAR Turboplast ropes to help complete the project.
The bridge was dedicated on March 16th, 2013 by the President of France, Francois Hollande. It will handle 43,000 vehicles a day and will reduce traffic congestion in the Bordeaux region.