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Hlavne Novinky | Apollo Bridge the first European structure to receive Opal Award
Apollo Bridge the first European structure to receive Opal Award
Although not the winner of the main Opal Awards prize granted by the American Society of Civil Engineers for the best construction worldwide, the Apollo Bridge remains the sole European project among the five winning projects this year. A spokeswoman for the Bratislava Magistrate’s office informed SITA that a South Carolina dam had been awarded the main Opal Award, while the other four constructions, with the Apollo Bridge among them, had received unranked awards. Ivan Šesták – Chairman of Doprastav, prime contractor for the 5th Danube bridge – accepted the award last Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan International Commerce Center in Washington, D.C. “Despite the fact that the Apollo Bridge did not win the main prize, it is still a success and a wonderful representation of Bratislava, as it was chosen out of 400 constructions and selected by about 600 top engineers from all over the world,” the spokeswoman said.

The Apollo Bridge was commissioned last September, more than 31 months after construction work began. Construction was accompanied by funding issues, delays and a discussion on naming the bridge. As the experts state, though, it is a bridge of unique architecture and construction. Already in the design stage, the architects opted for a cheaper yet more difficult method of construction. The main bridge structure, rising more than 500 meters, was not built classically. Rather than gradually expanding and anchoring structural components to pillars built on the riverbed, the entire structure was assembled on the river’s left bank and rotated into position by cranes and ships as a single piece. Bratislava can be proud of this unique achievement, as it was the first city worldwide ever to see such a long steel bridge structure being transported in one piece. Another unique feature of the Apollo Bridge is that no two pieces of the construction join in a right angle. Since the bridge connects the Danube’s two banks obliquely, the designers and builders had to cope with an object whose centres of gravity are affected by a variety of irregular angles.

Source: SME, 27 April 2006
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