M8 Danube Bridge /Dunaújváros Bridge (Pentele Bridge)

and the connecting motorway – construction year 2007

The Pentele Bridge spans the Danube and connects Transdanubia with the Great Plain. The 1682-metre-long bridge consists of three structural units: the one on the right bank (Dunaújváros side) is a 1,067-metre-long floodplain bridge, the one on the left bank is 300 metres long, while the most important element, the one that spans over the river, is a 307.9-metre-long girder bridge suspended by cables on bucket-handle arches. In 2007, its size made it the world’s largest bridge of this structural design, and at the same time it took over the title of Hungary’s largest span bridge from the Elisabeth Bridge. The width of the bridge is also exceptional (41m), as it is the first bridge among river bridges to carry the entire width of a motorway.

The „bucket-handle” arch bridge was assembled on the left bank in the assembly area located half above water, half on the bank. Subsequently, after dredging the floating bays, it was lifted in place from the shore scaffolding using eight high-capacity barges and fixed scaffolding. Its floating consisted of several carefully planned operations. First, it was floated out of the floating bay, turned 90 degrees, and aligned parallel to the bridge axis. Next, we manoeuvred it into the bridge axis and finally placed on the piers. During the floating and lifting of the extremely large bridge element, additional risk factors had to be taken into account, such as the influence of possible wind, the current water flow and water speed of the Danube.

A complex computer control system was used to assist the pick-up of the load on the shore and its the placement on the piers in the final bridge axis.
The bridge over the river weighing 8,650 tonnes made its floating into place a world record on a river, practically equal to the combined weight of all the bridges floated to date.
Based on the combined weight of the bridge and the required scaffolding (a total of approximately 10350 tons), it can be said that the transfer of the load, the floating out of the bays, the turning, the floating into the actual bridge axis and finally the placing on the pier with an accuracy of 1-2 cm was certainly the greatest challenge and technical achievement of the bridge construction profession in Hungary today.
In 2007, our company won the Industrial Innovation Award for its work on the „Dunaújváros Danube Bridge” and the VINCI Central European Region Innovation Grand Prize.

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