Canadian Consulting Engineer

Dubai’s Sixth Crossing planned to be longest span in world

May 1, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The world's longest and highest bridge is being planned for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The city is experien...

The world’s longest and highest bridge is being planned for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The city is experiencing astonishing growth, and already has several other long span bridges under construction, as well as the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building.
New York architects FXFowle International won an international architectural competition in February to design the record-breaking Sixth Crossing. It will traverse the Creek that comes in from the Persian Gulf and bisects the city. The crossing will include a span 667 metres long and it will have a bifurcated arch reaching 205 metres high. Currently, the longest bridge span in the world is the Chaotianmen bridge over the Yangtze River in China.
The total length of Dubai’s Sixth Crossing will be 1.7 kilometres. It has an undulating profile that rises and falls over the ocean inlets, touching down on a proposed artificial island next to a planned opera house. According to FXFowle’s senior partner Sudhir Jambhekar: “The bridge’s design was inspired by multiple sources, each evoking similar imagery the rhythmic grace of Dubai Creek’s current, the elegant splendour of the sand dunes adjacent to the city, the lighting patterns of the lunar cycle and the design of the future Opera House. We believe that our bridge design is not merely to link the city’s cultural and commercial developments or ease congestion, but an opportunity to connect people both physically and emotionally by creating an iconic landmark, destination, and gateway between the old, the new and the future Dubai.”
Engineering News Record says that the bridge proposal in the competition was designed with input from structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann and Partner of Stuttgart, Germany. Parsons Transportation will likely lead the structural design of the actual bridge. Parsons also designed the 510-metre long Business Bay Crossing in Dubai, which opened a year ago and was the city’s first new crossing in 25 years. Another new bridge, the 520-metre Al Garhoud Bridge designed by Halcrow Group is about to open.
Dubai City has evolved from a Bedouin settlement into a modern city with over 500 skyscrapers in a very short time. Only 20 per cent of its population are UAE nationals. The vast majority of the residents are expatriates, most from South and SouthEast Asia, and with 100,000 Western Europeans.


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