Hyundai E&C opens the 36.1-㎞ bridge crossing Kuwait
A long-span bridge linking Kuwait’s capital Kuwait City to Subiyah New Town has opened to the public. As part of the country’s important national initiative, the Sheikh Jaber Causeway project held a ceremony to celebrate its completion on May 1st. 2019, garnering all the attention from the Kuwaiti government and the public.
Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works placed an order in January 2010 to build the world’s longest cross-sea bridge 48.57 kilometers long which comprises the 36.14-kilometer main link connecting Shuwaikh Free Trade Zone and Subiyah to the north. As a lead contractor, Hyundai E&C was in charge of 78 percent (worth 2.1 trillion won) of the project, which is the largest civil construction project conducted overseas by a domestic builder since the Great Man-made River project in Libya in 1984.
The Sheikh Jaber Causeway project was aimed to build the 36.1-kilometer bridge consisting of three lanes for each side, two artificial islands with a capacity of about 330,000 square meters, and buildings. The fast-track construction was applied to conduct designing and construction at the same time, which resulted in decreasing the expected construction period of more than seven years to 66 months.
The highlight of the Sheikh Jaber Causeway project was to build the main bridge. To construct the 340-meter main bridge, the builder decided to construct an asymmetric cablestayed bridge in a bid to materialize a sailing ship, a symbol of Kuwait. However, an asymmetric cable-stayed bridge with the superstructure of which only a part is suspended by stay cables is very rare. In addition, the construction site put its all-out efforts to conduct a wide range of safety-related inspections to ensure that the center of the cross-sea bridge can withstand high temperature, seawater and strong wind.
In an effort to build the superstructure designed to carry vehicles, the construction site introduced cutting-edge construction technologies to improve quality and reduce the construction period. The precast concrete (PC) method was adopted, so that the pre-stressed concrete box girders were manufactured in a factory, and then the builder transported them from the factory to the project site and assembled them. To erect 1,800-ton concrete box girders considered one of the world’s biggest of its kind, the construction site utilized the full span launching method(FSLM). Taking water level into account, the construction site chose the most appropriate erection method for the project by adjusting a variety of heavy equipment including a 2,200-ton floating crane and a launching gantry.
Throughout the entire project area, the intelligent transport system (ITS) and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) were adopted, the first of its kind in the country. The surveillance cameras for real-time monitoring, the accident detection and point-to-point speed cameras, and the overload detection system also enable the citizens to use the landmark bridge in an easier and safer way.