In November 2012, VINCI Construction Grands Projects won the contract to build the Atlantic Bridge in Panama. The project, carried out for the Panama Canal Authority (the government agency in charge of operating, maintaining, preserving and modernising the Canal), has a value of $366 million.
The wold's longest cable-stayed concrete bridge
The bridge will be located 3 km north of the Gatun locks, near the city of Colon. The contract covers construction of a 1,050 metre long cable-stayed concrete bridge carrying two lanes of traffic in each direction, with a central span of 530 metres and pylons with a height of 212.5 metres. It will have a vertical clearance of 75 metres above the canal. The Atlantic Bridge will be the world's longest concrete cable stayed bridge, with a central span of 530 metres..
It will notably allow passage of the largest container ships (Post-Panamax), in accordance with the canal expansion programme.
It will also allow vehicles to cross the Panama Canal on the Atlantic side, whether or not the locks are in operation.
To avoid disrupting canal traffic, work will have to be carried out outside the shipping channel, which means the deck will have to be cast in place. The contract also includes construction of access viaducts on either side of the bridge with a total length of 2 km, together with connections to the existing road network.
A new bridge project reference
Work got under way in January 2013 and will take three and a half years to complete. The contract, which marks the historic return of a French company to the Panama Canal site, is yet another addition to VINCI Construction Grands Projets' prestigious portfolio of bridges, which includes the Normandy Bridge (France), the Severn Bridge (United Kingdom), the Confederation Bridge (Canada), the bridge over the Tagus (Portugal), and the Rion-Antirion bridge (Greece).