BESIX delivered three pedestrian bridges, each unique in design, over the Dubai Water Canal as part of one of the world's biggest urban transformations. Construction took place both before and after the three kilometre canal was flooded, showcasing BESIX's world-class expertise and engineering excellence.
Boasting intelligent design, the three bridges connect residents and visitors with recreational precincts and major transport networks. Construction benefited from the technical expertise of BESIX’s in-house engineering department to ensure all complex challenges were successfully overcome. This included innovative methodology to ensure works could continue over a marine environment once the canal was flooded. Meticulous and detailed planning ensured the project was delivered in time for the Sheikh’s inauguration and formal opening ceremony.
Creating the dynamic trio
The first bridge, which is 122 metres long and 6 metres wide, is supported by two 90 tonne forked antennas, which were installed inside the canal before it was flooded. The S-shaped deck of the 205-metre long second bridge appears to float above the water suspended by a 1,700 tonne arch and steel cables that support it. The arch required two 600 tonne cranes to lift it into place, while the bridge was supported by a series of temporary steel towers. Once the bridge was complete, marine divers cut and dismantled these temporary towers.
Showcasing complex engineering at its best, the 140-metre long, 3.5-metre wide third pedestrian bridge features a twisted Vierendeel truss structure. This creates a sense of dynamic movement for pedestrians as they pass through the walkway. The design also protects pedestrians from the sun while maintaining views of the city’s skyline. A temporary steel structure platform was installed under the deck to allow works to continue once the canal was flooded. Removing the platform combined complex engineering methodology with our marine capability taking advantage of tidal changes. A barge with steel towers that exactly matched the position of the temporary steel structure platform was moved under the bridge. At high tide, the towers lifted taking the weight of the steel platform so it could be removed quickly and in one piece.