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Award of Merit: Strengthening Category

Strengthening of Two Bridges in Bogota City
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Bogota City, Colombia

Submitted by Sika Colombia

Bogota City Bridges

Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano
Bogota, Colombia

Project Engineer/

Jorge Padilla Ingenieria y Cia. Ltda
Bogota, Colombia

Repair Contractor
Union Temporal Puenta
Bogota, Colombia

Materials Supplier/

Sika Colombia
Bogota, Colombia

In Colombia, many bridges were designed and constructed several decades ago to withstand traffic and earthquake loads that were much smaller than the ones used nowadays. Besides the deterioration caused by time and the environment—mainly represented by humidity, carbon dioxide and factory gas emissions—makes the need to retrofit them unavoidable.

The strengthening of two bridges located on Avenue 68 crossing Avenue 26 in Bogotá City, Colombia, South America, began in the second half of 2006. One bridge was constructed in 1968 and, due to the fact that the traffic increased in the last decades, there was the need to construct another bridge in 1989 parallel to the older one These are 10-span bridges with a substructure made of a reinforced concrete frame with two and three columns supporting a beam in the upper part. The foundation consists of independent footings over piles. Both bridges were designed to withstand vertical and earthquake loads much smaller than the loads demanded by the current Colombian Bridge Code.

Several strengthening methods were used for the retrofit labors such as reinforced concrete jacketing of the columns, the addition of reinforced concrete walls in the footings, post-tensioned cables, and composite fiber-reinforced polymer materials for the superstructure beams.

The strengthening was accomplished in 10 months and was finished in May 2007, with a total investment of $4 million (U.S.). It is considered one of the most interesting strengthening projects in the country.

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