Confederation Bridge
Prince Edward Island


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Geomatics & GIS BridgeFest 97

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One of Canada's top 5 engineering achievements of the Century

SCI, through its management, are pioneers of the infrastructure public private partnership and privatization process in Canada. SCI staff led negotiations, which were undertaken with the Government of Canada to:

Land Based Production of Bridge Elements

To achieve the three and a half year construction schedule, the majority of the bridge was produced on land in the nearly 200 acre fabrication facility on Prince Edward Island. This ensured the bridge elements could be built in a controlled production environment, isolated from the harsh and often unpredictable weather conditions in the Northumberland Strait.

The Bridge Component Assembly Line

The 175 elements, ranging in mass from 1,200 to 7,500 tonnes were moved through various stages of production with two transporters capable of lifting and carrying 10,000 tonnes. These self-propelled hydraulic units, which enabled precision movement and positioning of the elements, traveled at a rate of 3.0 meters per minute. These units performed over 3000 separate movements of bridge elements, along system of slider tracks totaling over 12 kilometers in length.

Placement of Main Bridge Elements

The massive bridge components, including the bridge girders of over 190 meters in length weighing over 7,500 tonnes, were installed by the self propelled, heavy lift vessel "Svanen" with flawless performance and precision.

Record Breaking Production

 Over 2,500 workers were employed in the production of the elements in the yard. The prestressed and post-tensioned main bridge elements utilized over 478,000 cubic meters of high performance concrete, 58,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel and 12,690 kilometers of post tensioning strand (weighing 14,000 tonnes). This unprecedented level of intensity and effort was successfully conducted using 97% regionally sourced labor combined with 78% regionally procured resources.

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