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Rijkswaterstaat bridge renovations , Various locations

Developing reusable knowledge in bridge modelling and renovation.

Watch the 'Renovation of Eight Steel Bridges' film.

More than 200 steel bridges in the Netherlands, built in the 60s and 70s, and many more in Europe, are potential victims of fatigue-related defects.

Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, is committed to the refurbishment of eight steel bridges in the Netherlands, providing strengthening design and engineering for an extended life of at least 30 years.

This work is being carried out by an Arup Royal Haskoning Greisch joint venture, acting as the managing contractor. Greisch, as a sub-consultant, is performing the role of technical reviewer. 

The eight bridges are large, landmark and fairly new – with spans ranging from 100 to over 300m. They are a variety of cable-stayed, arched and beam-slab bridges spanning road, river and rail at strategic points in the Dutch highway network.

Learning design lessons

As well as being a first step in developing expertise in bridge renovation, this project will also benefit the design of new steel bridges. The end users of new bridges will benefit from the effort invested and lessons learned from these renovations, including reduced traffic nuisance and improved construction methods.

By creating a new form of ‘cost plus incentive fee’ contract, Rijkswaterstaat is aiming to fully utilise market capabilities and encourage market players to undertake more management tasks.

Arup’s role includes all technical management activities – from the development of pre-inspection plans and 3D modelling of existing structures to the design of strengthening measures.

The firm are also responsible for the choice and management of contractors, for the technical tender documents, and for input and review of project specifications for the eight bridges.

For this project, a sophisticated and detailed 3D bridge drafting model is linked to static and fatigue models, creating a new type of comprehensive 3D analysis.

Arup is also developing a Bridge Information Model (BrIM) to store, control, communicate and manage information during the complete project lifecycle.

Benefits of using BrIM include tight control and management, reusability of information and improved communication with all project stakeholders. All this will help ensure the highest quality standards throughout the work.

New and existing bridges can be modelled in the BrIM and modelling techniques will be integrated into the system.