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Landmark Norwegian fjord bridge stays ahead of the curve

Barnshaws Polska has again demonstrated its comprehensive metal bending capability, with the delivery of curved steel tubing for the new landmark Loftesnes bridge near Sogndal, Norway. The curved structural steel sections now form the support arches of the bridge, and required the attention of the steel curving specialists due to their substantial size.

Barnshaws was awarded the opportunity to supply the curved steel elements to the Loftesnes bridge, a project executed by the general contractor Porr. The NOK 238 million structure has been designed to replace an aging bridge across the Sognefjorden fjord that was installed in 1954. The new bridge will allow traffic travelling the Rv 5 route to cross the fjord easily upon completion.

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Spanning 194 metres and weighing in at 1283 tonnes, the new bridge is specifically designed to offer an attractive aesthetic. This is provided by the central supporting arches, which rely on precision curved steel - a specialty of Barnshaws Polska. Notable projects served by the business include the new Wielun Ring Road, the freeform Sopot Forest Opera and a recent public tram design in Poland.

Upon beginning the project, Barnshaws Polska was required to bend 20 individual 813 x 30-40mm steel tubes, constituting approximately 125 tonnes of materials. Each tube measured 10 metres in length and required curving to meet a final radius of 65 metres. Thankfully, Barnshaws Polska’s access to Barnshaws UK’s in-house steel tube bending machine capacity ensured that this substantial order could be serviced efficiently. The immediate availability of this capability was of particular importance to Porr AG, who benefitted from expedited delivery at a competitive cost point.

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The finished curved tubes were then incorporated into the central section of the bridge, which upon completion weighed in at 420 tonnes. Utilising a floating crane with an 800 tonnes lifting capacity, the section was lifted into place, completing the structural skeleton of the bridge. Finished in gleaming white, the bridge will now offer a strong architectural presence in the local area, integrating with the natural beauty that surrounds Sogndal. The new structure now provides a preferable alternative to the original, functional bridge.  

Maciej Walkowicz, Director at Barnshaws Polska, commented on the project: “The curved sections of this bridge deliver an aesthetic that displays modernity, which was of great importance to this project. Furthermore, our ability to curve sections in-house quickly, and then deliver to site, served to help limit the disturbance to the urban locality. We can take on projects of almost any size, so it’s very encouraging to see contractors recognising our metal bending capacity to deliver landmark projects.” 

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