World's Tallest Bridge Constructed on China-Laos Railway

World's Tallest Bridge Constructed on China-Laos Railway

Workers on Tuesday started building piers for a bridge in Yuanjiang County of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, which is a big step in the construction of a railway that connects China with Laos.

The Yuanjiang Bridge spans over the Yuanjiang River. Once completed, trains will be able to travel from Yunnan’s Yuxi City to Mohan City before entering Laos.

It is designed to be 832.2 meters long and supported by six piers, with the tallest 154 meters. The total span of the bridge girder is 249 meters, a world record.

“This Yuanjiang Bridge is more than 300 meters long from the NO. 0 pier to the closing point. To guarantee construction precision, we will use a series of new technologies, including BIM (Building Information Modeling), some GPS measuring techniques and some advanced equipment, including three-dimensional lifting jack, vertical and horizontal scanning correction devices, and so on. The use of all these new technologies and devices guarantees that the error of closing will be within 5 millimeters,” said Xie Lu, chief engineer of the fourth branch of Yuxi-Mohan railway from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co.,Ltd.

Construction of the bridge started in April 2016, but the depth of the river valley and the wind speed all posed great obstacles for the job.

“The main pier is supported by 35 pillars each with a diameter of 2.5 meters and a foundation as deep as 75 meters. That is to say the foundation has to be 75 meters in depth. This is a key point in our construction,” said Zhu Pinghua, chief engineer of the project department of Yuxi-Mohan railway China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co.,Ltd.

With the girder designed to weigh 120,000 tons and beams 21,000 tons, the girder base will support roughly 150,000 tons of weight, when there is no train traveling. In addition, the geological condition underground is very fragile.

To cope with the difficulty, each two steel tubes of the girder steel structure are welded together in an X shape, a new method created by China to reduce extra weight, according to researchers.
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