Danube spectacular

The beautiful new Braila Bridge over the Danube in eastern Romania is an eye-catching addition to the local landscape and the enormous expansion joints that accommodate its movements are spectacular in their own right.

The Braila Bridge across the Danube River near the Romanian city of Braila, close to the country’s borders with Moldova and Ukraine and to where Europe’s second longest river flows into the Black Sea. The suspension bridge has a total length of 1,974 m including a main span of 1,120 m, and the approach viaducts at both ends have a length of 110 m each.

Of course, a bridge of such dimensions requires bearings and expansion joints that accommodate correspondingly large movements and rotations while satisfying a wide range of other design criteria. Of the various products designed and manufactured by mageba for the bridge’s construction – including TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints of various movement capacities, TENSA®GRIP single-gap joints and RESTON®SPHERICAL bearings of different types, the most spectacular are the 23-gap TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints supplied for one end of the suspension structure (with 19-gap joints at the other end).

In terms of the dimensions and capabilities of its large expansion joints, the exceptional project ranks among the biggest of its kind, not only for mageba. Over the past three decades, mageba has also designed and manufactured other huge TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints that have been installed in amazing structures such as:

The installation of the mageba-supplied bridge bearings and expansion joints on the Braila Bridge was completed earlier this year, and the bridge opened to traffic in July 2023 – extending mageba’s track record as the world’s leading supplier of extraordinarily large expansion joints for the world’s most spectacular bridges.

Contractor: Webuild S.p.A. and IHI Infrastructure System Co., Ltd.
Owner: CNAIR

The Braila Bridge over the River Danube has a total length of 1,974 m excluding approach structures, with a main span of 1,120 m

The Braila Bridge (red) crosses the River Danube (blue) in eastern Romania, just south of Moldova and before the river turns eastwards to form the border with Ukraine before entering the Black Sea

The 19-gap and 23-gap TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints for the Braila Bridge, shown here during connection of lifting and transportation beams (yellow), were fabricated at mageba’s factory in Košice, eastern Slovakia

The modular expansion joints arrive on the construction site loaded on an oversized flat bed truck

The lifting and transportation beams were also designed with add-on elements, for the installation of the expansion joints in the structure, with hydraulic jacks used to adjust the level at each side

Installation of large-movement TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints at one end of the Braila Bridge’s suspension structure – shown here before concreting in place

View from below of one of the Braila Bridge’s new TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints, showing the support bars which provide sliding support, via stirrup connections, to the surface beams above