Construction of the Fourth Bridge over the Panama Canal has started. Among other works, Consorcio Panamá Cuarto Puente (CPCP) retained Pedelta to conduct an assessment report and detailed design of a trestle on the west side of the new bridge to provide access for its execution. The temporary access is used to transport material and equipment, and to build the foundations of the bridge. It provides a platform for equipment operation and material stacking during the construction process. The assessment included the analysis of compliance with AASHTO LRFD requirements of a typical temporary bridge, in this case, a Bailey type bridge, which is widely used for temporary bridges in China.
The main trestle on the west side of the 4th Bridge over the Panama Canal has an overall length of 600 m and consists of five independent Bailey module sections. Each of these five Bailey module sections is continuous over several 12 m long spans, the longest of which presents 12 spans. End supports consist of steel frames with four steel piles, whereas simpler piled steel frames with two piles are designed at intermediate supports. The deck is 9 m wide and accommodates one sidewalk and barriers on both sides.
The analysis included different equipment configurations, and the verification of all the trestle elements, including the secondary elements, joints, and the orthotropic top steel deck. The substructure elements, including steel bends and the abutment, have been designed as well.
As a result of the accurate analysis, the definition of some restrictions on the equipment location, and some geometrical adjustments, it was concluded that the trestle was fully compliant with the structural requirements of the Project Specifications, including AASHTO LFRD. Construction of the trestle successfully began in Autumn 2019.