Using digital engineering to independently review the design of a new bridge to relieve traffic congestion in Thailand
About project: Tha Chin Bridge in Thailand will be the new major crossing over Bangkok’s Tha Chin River
Aurecon role: Review and Independent analysis of bridge design
Client: Asian Engineering Consultants
The Tha Chin River and its surrounding is a picturesque area, rich in history and culture, forming an integral part of the city. River crossings facilitate access to the city, for employment, family, and recreation.
The project involved the design of a bridge linking two seaboard provinces of Samut Prakarn and Samut Sakhon. It is one of 11 infrastructure projects under the government’s master plan to ease traffic congestion, promote tourism within Bangkok and the vicinity and reduce logistical costs.
Aurecon’s bridging expertise used digital engineering to conduct an independent analysis of the proposed structural design of the bridge. This involved analysing and reporting on the structural integrity of all bridge components including deck, cables, pylon, towers, caps and piles. Aurecon has extensive experience and technical expertise in both long span and cable-stayed bridges across the world.
A modern bridge for a modern city
Bangkok has more than 11 million residents and is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities. The new bridge is a modern design to suit a modern city. When completed, the Tha Chin Bridge will be one of the world’s longest extradosed bridges with a total length of 277 metres with four lanes in each direction.
The bridge deck is designed approximately 60-metres above water level to allow large vessels to pass underneath and reach port facilities situated along the river.
The proposed extradosed bridge employs a structure that combines the features of both a post tensioned box girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge. The design features an aerodynamic profile which will allow air to freely pass over the deck sections and components, minimising wind forces, thus enhancing fatigue performance of the bridge components.
The bridge has a low tower height with shallow cable stay angle provides a less intrusive appearance reducing visual impact on the surrounding natural landscape.
Advanced graphical and analytical modelling
During the design stages, finite element modelling, and analysis were used to independently analyse the structural adequacy and components of the bridge. A rigorous approach was adopted to accurately determine loading, compare results, and enhance code-based methods.
The finessing and calibration of the finite element model provided significant accuracy for the load and capacity assessment to ensure that no element of the bridge is overstressed during construction and to ensure economic design.
Supporting cable tensioning values and construction sequencing was also cross checked and proven using the modelling. This included the incorporation of the 60m high stay cable towers, piers, post tensioned deck, foundation, to ensure that the bridge would be structurally robust, and no cracking or overstress of the concrete will occur during and after construction.
The sheer size of the structure necessitated careful review of such phenomena to ensure the bridge can withstand thermal shock, seismic and wind loads.
A new bridge for the people of Thailand
The new bridge over the Tha Chin River will provide economic and socio-economic benefits to the region, providing flexibility to road users and enhancing the capacity of the existing network, in turn stimulating regional growth and economic activity.
The river and the bridges that cross it, play an important role in enhancing accessibility, linking communities, facilitating trade and transport, and improving the quality of life for the city and its surrounds.
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