Lupu Bridge – Technology at its best
The Lupu Bridge is in Shanghai, China, which is the world’s longest arch bridge. The 2.5 billion yuan (US$302 million), 3,900-meter (12,795 ft) bridge was opened on June 28, 2003. Its main span of 550 meters (1,804 ft) over the Huangpu River is 32 meters (105 ft) longer than the previous recordholder, the New River Gorge Bridge in the Fayetteville, West Virginia, United States.
Construction of the Lupu Bridge, the longest arch bridge in the world, made several breakthroughs in bridge building technique.
With a span of 550 meters, the two piers of the bridge need to stand on hard ground that can sustain the outward or lateral stress of the arch. Yet Shanghai’s coastal soft ground cannot support the 20,000 tons of lateral stress.
To tackle the problem, Shanghai Science Commission and Engineering Administration jointly established eight construction research teams. The final scheme uses various techniques in cable-stayed bridge, suspension bridge and arch bridge building. Lupu Bridge is supported by 16 lateral catenaries, each holding 1100 tons of force, and a ground support device that holds 1700 tons of stress.
In a recent suspension test, 36 trucks, each with 30 tons load capacity, drove over the Lupu Bridge at the same time. The bridge floor sunk 11.6 cm under the 1000 ton-load, which is within the flexible sink limitation.
Construction of the bridge is also remarkable for precise jointing. The bridge is built with 35,000 tons of steel, with the jointing temperature, climate and assembling process precisely calculated.
The 7. 5 cm thick tar-paved road surface of the bridge is pitched in eight layers through twelve steps.
Features of Lupu Bridge:
- The longest arch bridge in the world. Its 550-meter-long arch span is 32 meters longer than that of the New River Gorge Bridge in the US state of West Virginia.
- The first ever box-arch bridge in the world. The section area of the main arch also sets a record : 9 meters high, 5 meters wide.
- The first major arch bridge to be connected exclusively by welding (except for the single pair of middle sections which are joined by rivets). The length of on-site welding totals more than 40,000 meters—comparable to the total length of the inner-city elevated freeway of Shanghai.
- The heaviest lifting weight of single component (860 tons), plus the heaviest lifting weight over the arch rib in a river (480 tons).
- The most complicated and multiple technology used in the construction of the main bridge, combining three distinctive methods of bridge-building technology: cable-stay, arch and suspension.
- The volumn of steel used in an arch bridge: more than 35,000 tons. It equals the steel used in building three 70,000-ton vessels.
- The volumn of steel used for the building process: more than 11,000 tons in the construction of a single arch bridge.
- The 16 horizontal staying cables used in the bridge-building are the longest (760 meters), thickest (18cm in diameter), heaviest (110-ton each) and with the greatest tension-pull tonnage (over 1700 tons) in the world.
- The greatest thickness of on-site steel plates welding (100mm) in the construction of a steel bridge in the world.
- The greatest number of heavy mechanical equipments and large-scale construction installation used in the building of a single bridge.
This sixth bridge across the Huangpu River is popularly known as the ” rainbow of the new century”. The opening of Lupu Bridge extends the north-south viaduct to Pudong, linking the inner-ring road to the outer-ring road.
Sightseeing platform is designed for Lupu Bridge. Tourists can get to 50 meter-high bridge deck by taking the high-speed elevator, and climb up to either end of the 110- meter-high arch rib by following the pedestrian on it, enjoying the scenery of Huangpu River. A sightseeing platform, 22 meters long and 13 meters wide, spans two arch ribs, and makes the tourists to be able to climb higher, which adds more views, more fun and more sports to it.
Enjoy this short video that shot on the top of Lupu bridge
Also see this satelite view of Lupu Bridge