Yarumo Blanco bridge, designed and built by OHLA in Colombia, finalist in the IABSE Project and Technology Awards 2023

October 20, 2023

Yarumo Blanco Bridge.

Latin America and the infrastructure sector, thanks to Yarumo Blanco designed and built by OHLA, will be represented in the prestigious “IABSE Project and Technology Awards 2023” in the rehabilitation category.

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineers will hold its prestigious awards ceremony in November. At the ceremony, the Yarumo Blanco Bridge, part of the Central Cordillera Crossing Project (the Quindío section), one of Colombia’s most important road infrastructures, will be considered for one of the most important awards.

A unique project in the world, using cutting-edge technology

The Yarumo Blanco Bridge is a unique project in the world in terms of seismic rehabilitation and reconfiguration. The OHLA team had to address significant challenges including the execution of a curved horseshoe-shaped layout, the 11% longitudinal slope, its location in an extremely high-seismic-hazard zone, and the poor quality of the previously built structure. Additional challenges included the location of the foundations in the middle of the slope, the need for seismic isolation on a pre-existing structure, and the complex geotechnical conditions.

The seismic reconfiguration process of the bridge involved the cutting and seismic isolation of the five short piers of the bridge after its construction. This was accomplished through the use of large vertical and horizontal jacks, diamond-wire cutters, and friction pendulum seismic isolators on which the bridge was unloaded once the piers were cut.