Water under the bridge

Samy Mansour
Sunday 06 Jul 2008

New mixed-traffic bridge to cross the Tiber river

The proposed bridge designed by Enzo Siviero with Arenas & Asociados, eminent Spanish engineers, would cross the river Tiber to connect the EUR district with the motorway running between Rome and the Fiumicino Airport.

The team explains: "We wanted to design a bridge which would serve as an entrance gate to the City, as this is the first bridge that the traveller meets when arriving from Fiumicino. However, we were concerned that this bridge should be as natural as possible and avoid any unnecessary sumptuousness.”

An elevated arch solution, which totally engulfed the riverbed, appeared to be the optimum solution from the very outset: a large bowstring arch bridge which crosses the entire river bed with a span of 180 metres between the centrelines of the vertical foundations. The arch projecting over the deck is formed of steel and rises 16 metres over the level. The double floor deck has a depth of 4.7 metres and is suspended from the arch by way of pairs of tubular hangers.

Given the natural park surroundings of the river banks, the Rome Council stressed the importance of integrating footpaths and cycle tracks on the bridge. Some space on the crossing is also specifically allocated to cultural events such as shows or book fairs.

The winners of the competition to design the “Ponte Dei Congressi” were announced by the council in 1999, but the construction of the bridge has on several occasions been rescheduled due to a plethora of geographical and complex traffic planning issues. Arenas & Asociados are currently awaiting numerous town planning questions to be resolved.

Key Facts:

Urban design

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