Cala Galdana Bridge, probably the first Stainless-steel road bridge, illustrates the great possibilities offered by stainless steel to structural engineering. Even if the cost of the stainless steel is considerably superior to conventional construction materials such as carbon steel and concrete, an economical decision based on life cycle cost of the structure enhances structural solutions with stainless steel, thanks to the considerable economical savings from its reduced maintenance.
The overall length of the bridge is 180 ft (55 m) with a 42 ft (13 m) wide deck. The deck allocates 2 traffic lanes and two lateral sidewalks. Each sidewalk is 6 ft (2 m) wide and allows the pedestrians to enjoy the panoramic views from an excellent location. The main structure consists of two parallel arches with an intermediate deck. The arches and the deck join at the abutments by means of an inclined strut that takes the horizontal component of the arch’s axial force and, as a result, significant horizontal forces are not transferred to the abutments.
During the design process, different structural and material alternatives were analyzed. Finally, a duplex stainless steel arch structure was chosen due to its high resistance to corrosion from the marine atmosphere, as the solution that better responded to the owner’s requirements. The solution has been designed fulfilling four explicit objectives: environmental respect (during construction and in service: recovery of the old river bed), high durability, minimum maintenance and a symbol of advanced technology.
Sobrino, J.A.; Stainless Steel Road Bridge in Menorca, Spain. Structural Engineering International, Journal of IABSE, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 96-100, (ISSN 001016-8664), May 2006.
Sobrino J.A.; Pont en acier inoxydable à Cala Galdana (Minorque, Espagne) (in French). Bulletin d’ouvrages métalliques No. 4, pp 22-34, OTUA, Paris, 2005.