Friday, November 27, 2009

Mexico's Bridges: Puente Atenquique II (1)

I skipped past a single span bridge (Puente Los Hornos) and another space-truss structure (Puente El Nuevo) to arrive at the incrementally launched box girder bridge,  Puente Atenquique II. It has a continuous nine span superstructure on single column bents and seat-type abutments.

I looked up Atenquique and found that it is a town with a tragic history. Heavy rains in 1955 caused a flash flood that drowned many members of the community as they were attending Mass. It is also the name of the stream that runs under this structure.

The bridge is 83 m (272 ft) tall and 440 m  (1445 ft) long. Like the other continuous superstructure bridges spanning wide canyons on Route 54D, this structure is a single prestressed box girder with long, gull-wing overhangs. A 1445 ft continuous superstructure is extreme long not to have an intermediate expansion joint. The superstructure is supported on sliding bearings that allows it to expand and contract without flexing the very tall piers. The 17 inch thermal movement must be addressed by very large expansion joints at each abutment.

We'll take another look at this bridge tomorrow.
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Mexico's Bridges: Puente Atenquique II (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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