SENER provided the detailed design work for the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway road, with its iconic cable-stayed bridge

27/04/2022 (Philippines)
SENER provided the detailed design work for the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway road, with its iconic cable-stayed bridge

SENER, in a joint venture with CFC, was responsible for the detailed design of the entire Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project, which includes the Cebu cable-stayed bridge, an iconic structure on this road. The SENER-CFC consortium also provided technical assistance during construction.

The Cebu Cordova Link Expressway opened on Wednesday, April 27, in Cebu, Philippines, with its iconic bridge as one of the main components of the project. The project, which was entirely designed by SENER, which also provided technical assistance during construction, together with its partner CFC (Carlos Fernández Casado, S.L.), is a public-private enterprise of the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, the city of Cebu and the municipality of Cordova, with the Cebu Link Joint Venture as the construction consortium.

The entire project consists of a road approximately 8.9 km long that connects the islands of Cebu and Mactan-Cordova. It does so by joining the southern part of Cebu City, on the island of the same name, with Cordova. This connection may be extended in the future to Mactan-Cebu Airport, a strategic hub for the entire area of Visayas. The road runs entirely over water (viaduct or causeway), with a combination of viaducts starting on the island of Cebu that cross the navigable part of the Mactan Strait, where the iconic cable-stayed bridge is located. They continue with another access viaduct that connects the main bridge to a causeway, with a sea wall, located over shallow waters in the area facing Mactan Island, where several bridges and culverts works are located that seek to minimize the barrier effect of the causeway itself. This makes it possible to cross the Mactan Channel, allowing ships to navigate through the Cebu Strait. The most iconic part of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway is the main bridge, a symmetrical cable-stay design.

For this complex project, SENER was the lead engineering firm in the detailed design of the entire project, which it provided as part of a temporary joint venture with its partner CFC. The consortium was responsible for the detailed design of all the infrastructure needed for the expressway: causeways, sea walls, viaducts and bridges, drainage, intertidal communication passage, road surfaces, road signs, safety barriers, lighting, as well as part of the installations: electricity and lighting supply and smart transport systems, together with their associated ducting. SENER also designed the structures needed for the toll area (booths, ducts, canopy and auxiliary electrical building). To give shape to the above, SENER did the preliminary work, which included climate and geotechnical studies, scale model testing in the laboratory and seismic risk analysis.

For SENER, this was a challenging task, since the construction is entirely over water in a highly seismic area that is also hit by typhoons with winds as strong as 250 kph, all of which requires deep foundations and pile caps above the water line. Given these conditions, all the elements have deep foundations with bored piles driven into the substrate in the area, which occasionally, under the recent clay and sandy deposits, features degraded coral rock and deposits of volcanic origin. Because of this, the main bridge uses bored piles with a diameter of between 2 and 2.5 m, while the other bridges have bored piles with a diameter ranging from 1.2 to 2 m. Similarly, to minimize the forces from the deck to the substructure in seismic situations, a damping system is used that relies on lead rubber bearings (LRB), which dissipates the energy transmitted by plasticizing the lead under dynamic loads.

Eduardo Villarejo, the Project Manager at SENER, stated: "We celebrate the opening of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. It is an honour to be part of this iconic project, which was made very demanding both by its strict engineering requirements and by the challenge of coordinating the numerous agents involved in the work. We have worked with five different reviewers for each part of the design, not including our own internal reviews. The success of such a demanding structure is yet another example of SENER's technical expertise in the most technically complex projects in the world. At SENER, we must highlight the effort and dedication together with the high technical qualifications of the people involved. Without this group of brilliant professionals it would not have been possible to bring this complex and emblematic project to a successful conclusion.”

In Infrastructure, SENER is involved in comprehensive engineering projects in urban transport, rail transport, roads, airports, ports, architecture, water and the environment, with successful endeavours in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Qatar, Colombia, Chile, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Spain, United States, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Portugal, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Thanks to its team of experts, made up of specialists in all the technologies and disciplines involved in infrastructure development, SENER has a complete and integrated vision of each project.

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