Newmarket viaduct bridge designer to speak at UC

29 October 2013

The design manager of Auckland's Newmarket Bridge viaduct project will give a special talk at the University of Canterbury next month.

Newmarket viaduct bridge designer to speak at UC  - Imported from Legacy News system

Dr Alessandro Palermo

The design manager of Auckland’s Newmarket Bridge viaduct project will give a special talk at the University of Canterbury next month.

The Newmarket viaduct replacement project has been New Zealand’s premier bridge project and its design manager, Ted Polley, will talk to UC civil and natural resources engineers, academics and students on November 14 about the difficulties of the project.

Polley says the project was unprecedented compared to any major bridge rejuvenation works in New Zealand.

"Only two other balanced cantilevers had been deconstructed in the world and they were both knocked down by conventional cranes in a semi-rural location,’’ Polley says. 

"Newmarket involved deconstructing a balanced cantilever bridge with launching gantry in a constrained urban environment with 160,000 vehicles a day passing by within one metre of the construction zone. 

"Newmarket achieved Auckland’s first successful motorway shut down for 36 hours and did this twice in the four years of the project to allow the 800 tonne gantry to be shifted from carriageway to carriageway.’’   

The existing Newmarket Viaduct was well known for its structural deficiencies where it had inadequate capacity to resist heavy live loads, differential temperature effects and seismic loading.

The viaduct was previously strengthened twice to increase load carrying capacity. The increasing traffic volumes required the viaduct to increase its width to carry a forth lane southbound. The project has been recognised worldwide as being extremely technical and complex.

Polley is a technical director with Beca, with 20 years’ experience primarily in the bridging field. He has been involved in some of Auckland’s major projects including Auckland’s Sky Tower, the seismic strengthening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Americas Cup Basin and, more recently, was the structures lead on the award-winning Ormiston Road Cable Stayed Bridge.

Polley will talk next month about project challenges and innovative solutions to bridge practitioners and researchers as part of the seminar series organised by the Canterbury Bridge Group coordinated by UC bridge engineer Dr Alessandro Palermo.

Dr Palermo says the challenge of constructing a new viaduct while deconstructing the existing viaduct in stages in the city centre was a world first.

The Newmarket viaduct project has won international awards and is regarded as among the best engineering achievements globally in the last century, he says. 

"In the near future, in key bridges such as the Newmarket viaduct, I hope to see the implementation of seismic damage resistant technologies which minimises post-earthquake damage and traffic disruption.’’ 

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168