ERA 2000 - Presentation

Crossing the straits. Advances in bridge engineering taken place in the last decade especially in the areas of design, aeroelastic studies and construction procedures, now allow us to achieve projects which were unimaginable before; for example, the connections in the Japanese archipelago, the connections between different Danish islands, and the connections between Denmark and Sweden are redefining the countries and geography of the continents. Bridges with nearly 2000 meter span have already been constructed and others under project. In this optimistic atmosphere, the bridge connection between the Italian Peninsula and Sicily, where a bridge of over 3 kilo meter span is required, is more realistic now.

ERA 2000 - Presentación 01

The area of Rías Altas seems an ideal location to carry out a project of this nature. The metropolitan area formed between La Coruña and Ferrol with all the intermediate towns needs a direct and shortest connection possible, which only can be achieved by a series of bridges. The bridges should be in harmony with the environment and at the same time should be aesthetic. They should be simple and technically challenging: Simple in the sense of structural clarity making the least visual impact possible, and technically challenging in the sense of clearing natural obstacles with best technologies available. In this manner, the engineering work will be converted in a part of the natural landscape.

Desire to carry out this project is not new, and this topic appears occasionally in recent years. However, what has not been available until now is the actual proposal of state of art bridges using the most recent technologies.

ERA 2000 - Presentación 02

Therefore, from the school of civil engineering at the University of Coruña, we make a proposal of a connection in Rías Altas called era 2000, consisting of three bridges to connect La Coruña, Ares and Ferrol. Two of them are suspension bridges with main span more than 2 kilometers with reduced side spans, while the third one is an arc bridge with half-through arc with 500 meter span. The conceptual designs and their dimensions for all the of them are presented, which will hold a record in their categories. They are ambitious proposals, but achievable, and the projects recently completed in other countries support that they are workable.

Santiago Hernández Ibáñez

Full Professor