The process to move the 140m long structure has extended over 85 days. More than 100,000 people will cross the structure hourly whilst the exhibition is being held.
The World Fair is physically closer as from yesterday, with this new structure which connects the two shores of the River Ebro in Zaragoza. The Bridge Pavilion, design by Zaha Hadid, completed its assembly process, which started last October. This very symbolic event was attended by the main autonomic and local authorities.
The last weekend finished with the successful launching of the steel structure in its last 2.7m vertical movement, which it needed to cross the distance between the two parts of the bridge from one shore to another. Now, the works shall begin to cover the framework which consists of more than 17,000 pieces.
The Bridge Pavilion rests on the two shores and a central isle in the middle of the river. It has an organic, latticework shape which looks like a Gladiolus, which opens up and closes as in nature, upon which it is inspired. It is divided into two levels, the thoroughfare which covers around 3,200m2 and the exhibition area which covers approximately 2,500m2. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people per hour will frequent the Bridge Pavilion during the World fair.
FIRST MOVEMENT This original structure will hold the thematic exhibition denominated ‘Water – sole resource’, whose objective is to let water be known as a human right and explain that it is a scarce resource.
The movement of the 140m long, 2,200 tonne structure situated on the right shore, began last 29 October, which means that 85 days have been needed to place the structure in its final position. In all this time, this enormous structure has advanced 125m until it has fitted into the part which was constructed on the left shore.
The first movement of the bridge launching, covered 27 meters in the direction of the central support in the river. The second was parallel to the flow of the river and took place on the 5 November and cross a further 17m. From the third movement, as from 9 November, the so-called ‘fish’ tower crane came into play along with the frontal support and the retaining block. From this point onwards the movements were much shorter and implied changes in the bridge supports.
The most visible change was the connection of cables from the tower crane to the launching nose, which was located on the head of the section situated on the right shore. At the same time, cables were attached which held the bridge to the retaining block or counterweigh and which helped control horizontal movements during the maneuvers.
In the first days of December the structure was able to move some 21.60m in three phases, offering then a total advance of 66.06m longitudinally and 9.0m transversally. At this time, the cable and retention systems were working satisfactorily. Also, once the 100m barrier was surpassed in January, the nose was removed.
In the final few days the horizontal movements were completed and the final 2.7m were lowered which separated the structure from its final position. It was only necessary to weld the two parts of the bridge together and consummate the union between Zaragoza and the World Fair exhibition site.