Seven years Danube Bridge Vidin-Calafat

Sonya Machorska

On June 14, 2013 the Danube Bridge Vidin-Calafat was inaugurated in the presence of: the European Commissioner, senior officials from Bulgaria and Romania, the Bulgarian Patriarch, representatives of the diplomatic corps from both sides of the river, numerous officials, media representatives from all Europe, representatives of the Constructor of the Bridge and the Bridge Supervision, numerous citizens.

Designer of the Bridge is Eng. Antonio Martinez Cutillas, Spain. Constructor – FCC Construcción, Spain. Construction Supervision – French-British Consortium Ingerop / High-Point Rendel. Investor – MTITC of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Management teams: Eng. Alberto Vergara, Eng. Julio Ruiz, Eng. Rafael Huerga; Eng. Vincent Grange, Eng. Steeve Pollard, Eng. Michael Taylor, Eng. Andrew Taylor; Eng. Simeon Evtimov, Eng. Hristo Monev.

On 10.05.2014 year was the start and rail traffic across the bridge.

During construction, the bridge was visited by over 6500 people. Especially great was the interest in students from various construction specialties, as well as engineers from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Spain and others.

The construction of the bridge was subject to visit representatives of the diplomatic missions in Bulgaria of: the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Belgium, Vietnam, Israel, Austria, UK, Hungary, Republic of Korea, Romania and Serbia.

The media interest in the project “Danube Bridge Vidin-Calafat” is remarkable. And, besides almost all Bulgarian particular, interest exerted German, English, French, Belgian, Dutch, Romanian and American journalists from: “FINANCIAL TIMES”, RTZ, “Tipik”, “Le Bloguer” – Arte, “Deutsche Welle”, ITV Wales, “Discovery Channel”, “ARD”, “Deutschlandfunk”, BBC, “The New York Times” and others. The focus of all published and broadcast reports and films, is the strategic role of the bridge, which connects with South and East Europe.

Technologically, the bridge structure has been constructed after the method of the cantilever installation, which is done for the fi rst time in Bulgaria, combined with the cable stays.

Three hundred segments of width 2, 15 m and weight of about 120 tons form the bridge construction in the non-navigable channel of the river and 162 bigger segments of width 4, 18 m and weight of about 250 tons – in the navigable channel of the Danube. All they were produced in the production plant of FCC Construccion, situated in the Free Zone – Vidin.

The bridge has three parts – one section in the non-navigable channel of the river with 80 m spans, another in the navigable channel of the river with 180 m spans and an approach elevated track with 40 m spans, as their total length is 1971 m.

Under the superstructure of the bridge in the non-navigable channel of the Danube are constructed eight piers of height from 3 to 20 meters – depending on the terrain and the slant of the bridge itself. Under each of these piers there are 7 piles with diameter 2 m, at a depth of up to 60 meters.

In the navigable channel of the river there are four piers erected, with height from 39 to 45 m. Under each of them there are 24 cast in-situ piles with diameter 2 m at a depth to 80 meters.

Some 1200-1300 vehicles per day are crossing the bridge, with the most numerous being from Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Poland, Hungary and others.


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