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The world’s busiest waterway – the Panama Canal – has been widened and deepened to allow for a second lane of traffic for larger containerships, the new “Panamax ships”.
Within the expansion project of this key conduit for international maritime trade, a new bridge was constructed on the Atlantic side of the canal, called the Atlantic Bridge.
The new third crossing across the canal is located just 1.8 miles (3 km) from the Gatun Locks in Colón. It spans 579 yards (530 m) and has a clearance of 82 yards (75 m) to allow the largest container ships in the world to navigate beneath, connecting the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean through this man-made 48 mile (77 km) waterway.
For this project mageba delivered 16 RESTON-SPHERICAL bearings that feature uplift claws and designed according to AASHTO standards. Additionally, 4 LASTO-BLOCK lateral tower bearings for the tower level were also supplied.
All bearings face very large displacements up to +/-40 inches (+/-1,025 mm) as the bridge is seismically isolated. As a result, all bearings use mageba’s patented ROBO-SLIDE sliding material.
ULS uplift loads are being resisted with mageba’s uplift claws designed for two piers that feature an innovative external uplift device solution resisting loads up to 3,500 kN (ULS).
In addition, TENSA-MODULAR expansion joints of types LR2, LR3, LR4, LR5, LR6 and LR20 were supplied along with the bearings. The LR20 joints are now the largest modular joints made by mageba in the Americas.
RESTON-SPHERICAL spehrical bearings, LASTO-BLOCK elastomeric bearings, TENSA-MODULAR joints
ROBO-SLIDE high-grade sliding material according to AASHTO
Cable-stayed concrete bridge
Autoridad Del Canal de Panamá (ACP)