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Abud Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Bridge Architecture Essay

Sheikh Zayed Bridge Project

Coastal and Maritime Infrastructure Engineering is a course that requires numerous practical assignments and reviews of the past and current constructions works. The process helps the students to familiarize themselves with the market, as well as situations and challenges that they are likely to face in the outside world. More importantly, as it is a learning process, the students have an opportunity to learn from people's experiences to ensure perfection when they undertake their projects.

This research will focus on Abud Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Bridge, its construction, design, benefits, challenges encountered, and the review of available data on the topic of bridge construction. An overview of the reason for choosing this masterpiece as the focus of the research will also be given. Further, the research will present an analysis of the materials used in its construction, as well as strategies implemented to ensure that it will be able to withstand the deep currents and water waves.

Over many decades, the UAE, an ever more mobile society, has undertaken different determined infrastructure projects to build a high-speed highway system linking the Emirates as one. A well-known architect, Ms. Zaha Hadid, has designed the bridge. As far back as 1967, the steel arch bridge was built to interlink them fledging the City of Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland, and a second one was finished during the 1970s.

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The Sheikh Zayed Bridge, a four-lane highway, offers an essential third Gateway crossing, linking to the growing system on the Gulf South coast. It is a massive structure, rising sixty meters above the sea level at its uppermost peak. The bridge's silhouette forms a destination point in its accord. Moreover, it is projected to serve as a channel for the potential growth in Abu Dhabi. It ascends from the mainland adjacent to an open panorama, gathering the ground level road structures together, propelling and lifting them across the channel on cantilevered road decks that run each side of the bridge’s spine structure. The asymmetrical steel arches go up and spring from the mass concrete piers that form a coherent sinusoidal waveform that splits and splays from one shoreline along the void. Then, it diverges beneath the road decks on reaching the other.

The construction of the bridge was under the Archirodon Construction with aid from Taylor and Buckland Ltd., which is the erection-engineering company. More importantly, the capital cost of the project was AED 840 million (€161.5 million). The bridge was finished in 2010. However, the erection of Sheikh Zayed Bridge was intricate with the raise in structural design time, budget, and construction. The sequence of the construction changed many times because of the delays and constructability issues in delivering the fabricated steelwork. Every piece of the bridge was uniquely engineered and designed. Every time the HPR panel had reanalyzed the entire bridge, some changes were made. The 4-D stepped breakdown of the bridge allowed the engineers to consider all kinds of nonlinearity for the construction levels and the long-term effects. It allowed the engineers to assess the distribution of stress within the structure to ensure the compliance with design requirements.

Bridges are a fundamental part of the transportation system because they provide a link to the densely populated urban areas, waterways, and valleys. Though the bridges are expensive to construct, they help ease the weight of the traffic of both individuals and motor vehicles. Countries all over the world invest in heavier and wider bridges to help ease future traffic and thus create a balance. Engineers, contractors, and designers collaborate in coming with the bridges that meet the standard precast and regulations of different states within which they are built. It is intriguing to understand how they are built, the resistance to waves, materials used, and various design categories that the chief engineer chooses.

Sheikh Zayed Bridge was built in the water. Its unique design makes it more of a tourist attraction. Essentially, it links Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland. I chose to review its construction as part of my project because it is an essential feature of the coastal and maritime infrastructure in the UAE. It is worth noting that the chief engineer, Zaha Hadid, was a woman. It was interesting to understand her creativity, the choices she made, and the women empowerment portrayed by the trust given to her to foresee the project. The pillars and the resistance to the water waves were also a point of concern. The level of technology employed during the construction process given that it was constructed in the millennial era was exceedingly advanced. As a result, I deemed it an appropriate choice for my project because it would help learn the implementation of the concepts learned in class. Besides, I wanted to identify any challenges encountered and the measures taken to address them. I believe reviewing the construction of Sheikh Zayed Bridge will be educative, informative, and useful.

LITERATURE REVIEW ON SHEIKH ZAYED BRIDGE

History of Bridge Construction

The bridges that have been discussed in the following section are models of their kind. An enormous number of factually thousand bridges built needs few exemplary ones to reveal the main growth in the bridge construction all through the centuries. Any book that examines bridges in historical context can make its opinion, and studying such works will be of immense value in understanding the legacy of engineering the bridges. Each subdivision will offer a framework for orientation in the uninterrupted process of the past as it unfolds.

Ancient Structures

It will not be known who constructed the first authentic bridge structure. The knowledge of the history fades when one looks back in time. Hence, one can assume when a man was searching for the shelter and food from various elements and given his / her curiosity started to explore the natural environment. According to Migiakis (2010), crossing crevices and creeks with technical means was a subject of progress and survival since bridges belong to the oldest structure that has ever been built. The earliest bridges consisted of natural materials that were available, namely stone, wood, as well as easy handmade ropes. In reality, only some of these structures survive, and they could be even referred to as prehistoric, for instance, the Clapper bridges in the South region of England.

Ancient Structural Principle

A number of construction principles were used in the most primitive structures. According to Infanti and Castellano (2007), the easiest form of the bridge had a beam supported at its two ends. They may have been the predecessor of any other bridge. It has turned into reality with a tree, which was cut down, or a few flat stones plates used as lintels. The cantilevers and arches were constructed of lesser pieces of materials joined by the compressive force of their gravity or ropes. The developments made larger spans probable as the superstructure could not have to be transported to the location in one whole piece anymore.

The oldest stone curved bridge can be found crossing the River Meles, with a single length at Smyrna in Turkey. It was built in the ninth century BC. According to Migiakis (2010), the suspension bridges are not a novel invention of the modern times, because they have been used for hundreds of years. The early examples are mentioned in such places as Himalaya, China, India, and Belgian Congo. The native tribes in Peru, Mexico and parts of South America also used them. According to Infanti and Castellano (2007), the cantilevering bridges were used in China and ancient Greece in 1100 BC.

Trial and Error

In several cases, Infanti and Castellano (2007) use such terms as primitive as opposed to the present state-of-the-art engineering accomplishments. Infanti and Castellano (2007) claim it is spoken as the absence of proper understanding and empirical techniques. From the today’s point of view, it is simple for one to develop such a judgment, but the individual must be careful not to reduce the exceptional achievements of the early contractors. In this technical age of the well-developed infrastructure, heavy equipment, and computer communication, it is easy to overlook the real situations under which the construction was built. Infanti and Castellano (2007) argue that natural science and mathematics have not even begun being advanced. Hence, it is not surprising that material testing and calculations by adhering to the modern understanding were performed. However, the feeling of materials and structures was present in minds of the early masters and builders. With a lot of trials and errors, they managed to build astonishing structures, well engineered and solid, which have endured for many centuries until our present days.

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Stone Bridges

Apart from wood bridges, the stone masonry curve structures are cases of marvelous proficiency of the ancient Romans. The stone arches were made of false wooden work that could be reused for the next arch wafter one had been finished. Additionally, the semicircle spans rested on the well-built piers on foundations that were dug deeply in the riverbed. The width of such piers was reduced between the solid abutments, hence increasing the velocity of the river. In order to handle the issues, the Romans constructed sharp cutwaters at the piers. The arches used voussoir jointed together with the tapered stones with the keystone, which closes the arch. The compressive pressure from the dead load and mass of traffic on the overpass would hold the stones as one even without using mortar. On the other hand, the corbelled arches consist of stones piled on each other in a cantilevering style until the two halves convene in the middle. Infanti and Castellano (2007) claim the standard had been identified prior to the Roman times, and the vaulted tombs were used all through the Old World.

Smart Bridges

These bridges can measure the environmental conditions with sensors and then process information to produce the response. The system will have several ways of functioning. According to Infanti and Castellano (2007), the level one system produces a warning or an alert; it comprises data sensors, signaling devices, and communications systems. They give a comprehensive list of several sensors that enlightens the potential for a sensible use of the level one system. More importantly, they will alert changes in weathers conditions, such as flood occurrences, ice on bridge decks, fatigue, cracking, corrosion, wind, scour, and seismicity. A variety of smart applications will directly deal with the safety and structural nature of the bridge. They include self-adjust hydraulic bearings, aerodynamic appendages, and tuned mass dampers. All the structural techniques are required to aid the permanence of the bridge in dynamic loads.

Recent Bridge Projects

According to Ames (2014), many impressive large-span bridges have been finished in recent years. The most significant examples are Akashi Kaikyo, East Bridge, and Pont de Normadie found in Japan, Denmark, and France respectively.

Contribution of Modern Concrete Bridge Construction

They opened many possibilities to the profession of an architect. The merits of concrete were free formability, durability, and strength when they came to use in the construction. A brief assessment of the three projects has been done below.

Name

Great Belt East Bridge

Pont de Normandie

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Location

Great Belt / Denmark

Brittany / France

Akashi Strait / Japan

Type

Suspension

Cable-stayed

Suspension

Main span

1, 624 m

856 m

1, 991 m

Length of the Bridge

2, 694 m

2, 141 m

3, 911 m

Maximum clearance

65 m

59 m

65 m

Above sea level (towers)

254 m, concrete cross beam

214 m, concrete inverted Y

297 m, steel, X-bracing

Deck

Aerofoil

Aerofoil

Truss

Comments

Main span segments were upright poised from mid span inwards

Main span was partly balanced to cantilever construction; the central part was made of steel

Towers withstand the Kobe earthquake in 1995, and pillars were moved by 1 m

 

Construction

1991 – 1998

1988 – 1995

1988-1998

Table 1. The comparison of Akashi Kaikyo, East Bridge, and Pont de Normadie

Contribution of Modern Concrete Bridge Construction

The theory of box girder superstructures had by now been used in bridges, for example, the Britannia Bridge. Given the last part of the Second World War, the adaptable box girders developed into a broadly used kind of the superstructure cross-section. The cable bridges revolutionized a new type of overpass, which quickly developed in the next half of the twentieth century. The economical and stylish long-span cable bridges were then built to surpass in length since a handful of the greatest bridges were suspension bridges.

High-Performance Materials

High-performance refers an over-the-top performance of materials used because of some of the properties attributed to it. In construction, it primarily refers to the strength of the material. For example, it could refer to high-strength concrete used in the construction of the high-rise buildings. The deeper meaning of high-performance materials is more than the primary strength. It includes the durability and workability of the materials during the lifespan of the building and during construction respectively. In essence, it is the duty of the designer or the chief engineer to choose and specify the value and properties of the materials to be used. In bridge construction, high-performance concrete, steel, aluminum alloys and fiber are extremely crucial. Therefore, the designer must take into consideration various factors, as well as materials to ensure that they meet the specifications of the project. It helps to reduce the percentage of error in the final work and to improve the quality of the final piece.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BRIDGE

The bridge was created in a shape of a dune, which could not be an easy task. The design requires a lot of consideration given that the main material was to be metal. The bridge shaped in a desert dune hill, with the deck in a form of a continuous ribbon over an eight hundred and forty-five-meter length. The bridge connected Abu Dhabi Island with the mainland. Therefore, it had to be constructed in a way that it could withstand the water waves and any phenomena related to water. The constructors had to adhere to the chemical composition of water and ensure the bridge could withstand a long period of exposure to water without rusting. Moreover, more consideration had to be put in place for the bridge to work efficiently for an extended period because of the climatic condition of the region (Infanti, & Castellano, 2007).

The Sheikh Zayed Bridge measures around sixty-eight meters in width ensuring that it could allow any form of mobile transport to pass without grinding the walls or causing traffic. There is an emergency lane together with a pedestrian walk at both the ends of the bridge, all summing up to the sixty-eight-meter width. The bridge is built to allow a capacity of about 16000 cars along the bridge per hour, and 2000 pedestrian at the same time without causing any tension or pressure on the bridge. The two carriageways on the bridge have four traffic lanes ( each is 3.65m wide) to allow broad movement of vehicles within the bridge. The emergency lane on both sides is also 3m wide, whereas the pedestrian walk is 1.5m on both sides at the outer edge of the two carriageways. Moreover, to connect the mainland and the island of Abu Dhabi, the bridge had to be 842 meters long with eleven spans that are 150m in length. The architects of the bridge had to use large shapes to consider the weight of both the users of the bridge and the impact of the water waves. Thus, the constructors had to build an enormous foundation for the bridge. The foundation runs deep into the water to ensure a robust stability and rule out any possibility of collapse from water, weight or pressure. The arches are built in an asymmetrical way and then curved in all the direction ensuring a right angle within the cross section of the piers (Infanti, & Castellano, 2007).

In the past, constructions over the water have always been a challenge to many engineers, but the building of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge has created room for error. Hence, during the huge construction, emphases were drawn on its foundation, on how it could withstand the water and its effect. It also focused on how the bridge could support its enormous weight and that of the cars and pedestrians. Therefore, the entire structure was to be backed by 16km of bored piles that were to be 1.5m in diameter; the width was to reduce the pressure of the impact from the water waves. Further, each of the bored piles was to be thirty meters long to ensure they had a good grip of the bridge. The foundation had to be large and strong to support the bridge, and approximately 5000 of sheet piles were required during the construction of the bridge to make piers.

The Pylons and Piers

The Sheikh Zayed Bridge pylons are built to rise at about 254m above the sea level, with the lower part of the pylons structured with monolithic structures that are further reinforced by 1.2 meters thick concrete wall to protect it from any impact. The pylons are supported in the water by huge foundation caissons that are rooted in a gravel bed at a depth approximately 20m in water. This provides a strong support foundation for the pylon protecting them from a collision, ships, and other massive vessels. To protect the pylon from the collision by ships, artificial islands are built around the pylon and any pier that nearby protects any impact that could be caused by ships.

The Cables

The cables were used to allow for expansion of the steel utilized in the construction of the bridge. Considering the marine environment that the bridge is built upon, it is subjected to frequent anomalous expansion. Thus, the cables consist of double cables spaced at 1.75 meters with a diameter of 1.2 meters each. These precautions allowed a considerable expansion saga of the bridge.

Foundation

The following bridge is constructed on a strong foundation to withstand the waves and the tides in water. The bridge is built to rest on a direct foundation that is made of the concrete caisson. This concrete caisson is broad to increase the surface area allowing low pressure to be inserted into the bridge. The caission is further again formed by the cell structure of a thick base slab that is two-meter wide reinforced by the concrete piles. This reinforcement reduces the wave impact on the slab, thus making the foundation strong and impermeable. The foundations ensure that there is no collision between the bridge and the ship vessels. Again, the huge base foundation is designed by the constructors to give the bridge enough stability to support the overlying weight.

DATA AND FIGURES

The image above indicates how the waves affect the walls of the bridge at different areas of impact. From the picture, it is observed that the direction of the wave will heat the concrete bridge, causing an immense reaction and more water being absorbed through the concrete wall. According to the design, the bridge was developed and was made to sustain the wave’s impact on it.

Clearance

16 m

Number of arches

3

Number of lanes

4

Arch span

234

Table 2. Showing the Dimensions of Sheikh Zayed Bridge

The Sheikh Zayed Bridge constructed in Abu Dhabi is one of the most complex structures ever built. Undoubtedly, the bridge stands as a design unique art of engineering that was built by top engineers constructed to its perfection. Zaha Hadid, the leading chief engineer in the bridge project, is well known for her deconstructive architectural design. Through the masterpiece of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge, it is appropriate to quote a great deal of engineering work. Focusing on the bridge, it can be seen that a lot of work was put in place to oversee its success, both constructively and economically. The construction teams included Archirodon Construction, Buckland, and Taylor with limited help in the building of the bridge.

Construction Material Used in the Sheikh Zayed Bridge

The constructors of the bridge considered many factors to make it useful. The engineer Zaha Hadid had to consider all the possibilities that the bridge could be subjected. The bridge is built using concrete at the pier in order to enable the bridge have a firm foundation. Each pier is made of the sturdy concrete wall so that the bridge has a firm foundation at the bottom and the entrance at both its ends. On the other hand, the arches are constructed using steel. A cross section is approximately six by eight meters (Migiakis, 2010). 40, 000 feet steel was used as a reinforcement of the bridge. It was to strengthen the bridge at both ends connecting the island and the mainland. The amount of steel used for progressing was five thousand tons. It should be noted that in total, the bridge required twelve thousand tons of steel. Altogether, the amount of concrete used was designed to hold the bridge together and strengthen it from any impact and the water waves.

Steel is supposed to help avoid rusting since the bridge is built over salty water. The expose to water could render the steel weak, but it was designed to withstand the strong tidal waves, and the alkalinity of the water made it durable. Moreover, the use of steel and concrete for the construction of the bridge was to ensure it is not affected by the acidity, seismic waves and strong winds that usually blow the water over the to the mainland.

The environment that surrounds the construction of the bridge was extremely hostile. Therefore, the bridge had to be constructed with extreme adaptively to ensure it will survive and adapt to the environment. The concrete used was made of a mixture of little water and the cement mixture ratio. This was to consider the fact that the bridge was to be built over the water; hence, there was an interaction with the water. Thus, the concentration of water in the mixture of concrete had to be less to allow room for expansion. It was also mixed with ground granulated furnace slag and the calcium nitrite corrosion inhibitor in order to protect the concrete piles from corroding with calcium nitrate present in the water. The concrete uses cement that has flown ash to reduce the amount of carbon IV oxide emission.

Stainless steel was used to minimize the maintenance of the bridge given that steel is easy to maintain and manage compared to other materials. The outside of the pylons bridges are exposed to the atmosphere and the water can quickly erode. Hence, the use of stainless steel helps in protecting the construction.

Durability of the Bridge

The bridge was designed to ensure the marine environment in Abu Dhabi. The structure was meant to reduce the risk of the harsh weather and water conditions. Since it was to connect two islands, all the risks and factors were to be addressed. The bridge was built to support the heavy weight with a capacity of 16, 000 cars per hour; hence, it had to have a firm foundation. The entrances into the bridge had to have a strong, durable grip. Therefore, the concrete to be used should be of high density and quality. Additionally, the concrete covers both the surface and the foundation of the bridge. They were made thick to ensure a low impact. The surface of the bridge is protected to avoid the surface wear-off and other impacts from pedestrians, as well as vehicles.

The bridge’s durability from the water waves and corrosion was enhanced. The bridge is covered with the cathodic protection to protect it from rust. The cathodic protection was mainly directed to the foundation during construction. Moreover, it was to avoid oxidization and increase the bridge’s durability from water chemicals since it is acidic and readily react with metals and concrete walls. Further, fiber reinforcement or pre-stressing was used to help protect the bridge from cracking. The fiber reinforcement ensures that the cracks in the bridge do not extend deeper by minimizing them or preventing any break. In addition, sacrificial reinforcement was used to protect the bridge from further cracking from its width. This measure ensures that the bridge is durable against any form of environmental distress, such as waves, tides and seismic waves that can affect it.

The bridge was built with a fuse isolation system that ensures there is no overload of the horizontal load on the piers. This fused isolation is located between the substructure and the deck, hence facilitating the durability of the piers. Moe importantly, the deck is supported by a lot of springs that allow movement during the construction of the bridge. Symmetrical and massive efforts were required to support the structure during its construction.

In order to help the bridge attain control over its shape, some deliberation had to be made in its designing. The entire bridge, the steelwork, formwork and the pre-stressing together with reinforcement were to be computerized in three dimensions. This facilitated the bridge’s production of a drawing that ensured the building of a durable structure.

 DESIGN CATEGORIES

Designing a new concept can be extremely difficult and challenging because the conditions in each construction differ. In his 1988 report, Zuk discussed various radical changes in bridge construction. In essence, these radical changes would be completely new concepts that chief engineers will be able to use in bridge construction.

Kinetic Structures

Some movable structures, such as swing bridges and lifting bridges that move part of the built structure to let the ship and water vessels traffic pass are currently in existence. These bridges are common in the military, and they are transportable using the armored equipment. In his report, Zuk (1988) notes these kinetic structures would be similar to large machines that will employ motors and rotating members in order to function. Further, the scholar notes these bridges will be used for temporal purposes, especially in the process of building permanent bridges. However, Zuk does not whether these structures could be used permanently.

Underwater Bridges

They are preferred because they do not distract the ship traffic. The issue of stability would need to be addressed because corrosion. Hence, corrosion-resistant cables would enhance the structural integrity of these bridges. In addition, the impact of the water waves should be addressed in order to ensure that it does not have detrimental effects on the structural materials. Deep currents could also be resisted if they are constructed in a streamlined shape. It is important to note that constructing and maintaining underwater bridges would be similar to tunnel construction. Zuk (1988) further noted that the underwater bridges could also be termed as submerged floating tunnels because they are used to cross over an obstacle; water in this case.

Stress Ribbon Bridges

Although subject to huge public critic, it is the safest bridge against torsional oscillation. In fact, they have been used for the construction of small pedestrian bridges. They are not suitable for motor vehicle traffic. In the construction of the bridge, slender pre-stressed concrete ribbons are hung between the piers. The public criticism emanates from the sagging ribbons that are connected to the concrete, which is used as the rigid material. It is advisable to carry out further research in order to make it as an acceptable way of building bridges.

High-Art Bridges

As a break from the past trend of building bridges that are strict and simple, engineers and architects are likely to focus on building bridges that have an artistic appeal. The features that are likely to be added include colors, textured surfaces and covers, or aesthetical shaping in order to make them sculptures as opposed to being mere technological representations. In response, these bridges could be representational structures in the international exhibitions and the technology-oriented parks. However, according to Zuk (1988), the limitation to these additions and modifications is the incurred cost in order to achieve an appealing look. Therefore, the scholar forecasted that the number of high-art bridges would still be relatively small. Zuk, however, acknowledged that the engineering aesthetics could be anticipated irrespective of the cost incurred.

From the discussion above, chief engineers have a variety of designs to choose from during bridge construction. Sheikh Zayed Bridge would fall under the underwater and high-art bridges. It was constructed underwater with strong piers and pillars to ensure that it can sustain the water waves. In addition, the construction material and the level of technology used were exceedingly advanced to ensure that it is not corroded. Its streamlined shape ensures that it can resist deep currents; hence, it is strong enough to last a long time. More importantly, it has artistic features making it more of a tourist attraction as opposed to being merely a transportation element. Besides, it is constructed as a three-dimensional structure, making it stand out as an artistic element.

BENEFIT OF IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT

Sheikh Zayed Bridge was designed to help the entire community of the UAE. Moreover, the people of the island of Abu Dhabi could freely assess the mainland through the construction of the bridge. More benefits can be drawn from the use of the bridge, such as it facilitates transport of both goods and humans, hence improving the economy. It can be seen that the project work is art and an aesthetic part of the environment. The beauty is portrayed from the desert dune shape that it inhibits. More so, the bridge act as a masterpiece for other works of art and engineering since it showed that building it over water to connect the island and the mainland can be achievable. Thus, it encourages more such structures to be constructed.

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CHALLENGES IN BUILDING THE BRIDGE

The bridge was considered impossible for construction, and it faced many challenges. It made the building of the construction success questionable. Against all odds, in 2010, the bridge was completed and opened for the public to use. During the construction, many hurdles were experienced that derailed its development, but they were overcome in due time.

Construction Challenges

The bridge was not a simple task since the contractors faced different challenges that lowered their performance of the bridge. The link to the tall arches that were to be fixed on the bridge was among the challenges that the constructors faced. The sixty-meter tall arches were designed in steel instead of concrete. Hence, it became a challenge to supply. The construction of the steel arch was not an easy task and derailed the building of the bridge. Subsequently, another challenge was faced during the connection of the steel arches on the concrete piers. The piers experienced bending, which did not allow it to be connected efficiently.They caused high torsion in the concretes, and this posed the constructors another challenge of how to fit the arches in the right position without causing them to deflect.

The bridge was constructed in a dome shape, forming a gateway to the island. The structural design was also faced with various considerable challenges. For instance, the deck had to be structured in a continuous ribbon the entire distance of the bridge, which is 845m. The distance was long, and the ribbon was to be at a higher level. This was a significant challenge in structuring the ribbon to cover both the distance and the height of the bridge. Consequently, the problem of separating the two decks and making them visible with the aches running continues line was quite challenging during the construction of the bridge.

Environmental Challenges

The bridge construction faced environmental challenges, which are hostile, hence posing a great risk to its building. Since the bridge was to connect the island of Abu Dhabi and the mainland, it had to pass through water at different sea levels. As the machines were to be operated over the water, different challenges were to be considered.

Tumultuous Tides

The bridge construction was built in a marine environment that is open to tides and ocean waves. The ocean current was a challenge to the building of the bridge as its impact on the concrete piles could cause their collapse during the early stage of construction. The tidal action generates a force of impact on the bridge that record at about 2.3 million cubic feet per second. The water current caused an effect that leads top splashing of water to the metals used in the construction. The wet metal would oxidize if it were not stainless steel.

Corrosion Risk

Water reacts with metal or concrete in the presence of oxygen to cause rust to the structure. It is considered one of the most dangerous scenarios when building bridges in the marine environment. The Sheikh Zayed Bridge was built to serve the Abu Dhabi Island for a long period. Therefore, the incident of a future collapse due to corrosion of metals and concrete was to be nullified. Ocean waters are known to be saline and have a very active element that causes corrosion of the metal or steel structures. Since this was considered a greater challenge in the construction of the bridge, extra caution was to be implemented to overcome the following problem. The concrete is mixed with water, cement, construction, and then the calcium nitrate corrosion inhibitor was used to protect the concrete from being corroded. The other challenge of water being splashed to the internal parts of the bridge was eliminated by the utilization of a dehumidification plant that continuously circulates any dry air through the arches and the piers. This dehumidification ensures that the steel arches are protected from corrosion due to exposure.

Seismic wave and shocks were considered a challenge in designing and constructing of the bridge. The nature of the bridge makes equally risky to seismic shocks or waves that can be generated from the ground. Earth tremor can make the bridge weaker and eventually collapse or cause cracks in the concrete that can expand to be dangerous. Therefore, the constructors had to develop a bridge capable of withstanding these challenges. Hence, the bridge was built in the form of a continuous ribbon, and the half joints were used to support the pier and the crossbeams. 

CONCLUSION

The construction of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge was a success in the field of construction engineering. It was built against all odds to link the island of Abu Dhabi and the mainland. The bridge overcomes all the challenges during its development. The structure of the bridge was designed to control any challenges that it could experience. The construction that was completed in 2010 was designed to last for a long period without any damage. Extreme maintenance and service were conducted to ensure it remains active. Hence, it can be concluded that the building of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge was not only a successful part of art in the building industry, but also a symbol of life improvement to the people of Abu Dhabi.

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