Location

Arlington, Virginia

Session Start Date

8-11-2008

Session End Date

8-16-2008

Abstract

The Chacao Channel bridge, a planned privatized/concession bridge project, is to link the island of Chiloé with continental Chile through the Chacao Channel. When completed, it will be the longest suspension bridge in South America (2,365 m) with two approximately equal spans linking three pylons. The location of the bridge presents a combination of unprecedented challenges in the design and construction making it very unique, including: extreme seismicity with the largest earthquake recorded to date anywhere in the world having occurred very close to the envisioned bridge location (the 1960 Valdivia Earthquake with a moment magnitude of 9.5!); extremely strong sea currents and tide fluctuations within the channel (up to 5-6 meters/sec and 6 meters, respectively); the general area being surrounded by active volcanoes; and a history of Tsunamis. The above extreme challenges resulted in construction cost escalations; inevitably, in 2006, after a significant portion of the investigations and design was completed, the Chilean ministry of Public Works put the project on hold. The above extreme physical challenges were the main reason for the cost escalation. This paper provides an overview of the design of the envisioned bridge, discusses the methodology to overcome the unique challenges of the bridge location and focuses on the geotechnical and seismic aspects of the design.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Sixth Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

8-11-2008

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

Share

 
COinS
 
Aug 11th, 12:00 AM Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Chacao Channel Bridge – the Design Challenges

Arlington, Virginia

The Chacao Channel bridge, a planned privatized/concession bridge project, is to link the island of Chiloé with continental Chile through the Chacao Channel. When completed, it will be the longest suspension bridge in South America (2,365 m) with two approximately equal spans linking three pylons. The location of the bridge presents a combination of unprecedented challenges in the design and construction making it very unique, including: extreme seismicity with the largest earthquake recorded to date anywhere in the world having occurred very close to the envisioned bridge location (the 1960 Valdivia Earthquake with a moment magnitude of 9.5!); extremely strong sea currents and tide fluctuations within the channel (up to 5-6 meters/sec and 6 meters, respectively); the general area being surrounded by active volcanoes; and a history of Tsunamis. The above extreme challenges resulted in construction cost escalations; inevitably, in 2006, after a significant portion of the investigations and design was completed, the Chilean ministry of Public Works put the project on hold. The above extreme physical challenges were the main reason for the cost escalation. This paper provides an overview of the design of the envisioned bridge, discusses the methodology to overcome the unique challenges of the bridge location and focuses on the geotechnical and seismic aspects of the design.