Assessment, Repair and Widening of the Villeneuve-Loubet Bridge, France
|Published in:||Structural Engineering International, November 2008, n. 4, v. 18|
The Villeneuve-Loubet Bridge is located near Nice, France. It is a multispan masonry arch bridge across the River Loup, built in 1881. The two left bank arches were destroyed during World War II in 1944 and were rebuilt in 1945. Transverse cracks occurred in 1978, mainly on arches two and three, located on soffit at mid-span and on the back at the vault springing. The expert's report revealed the crack origins. The vault decompression was due to a combination of two events: movements induced by the destroyed arches, and differential settlements caused by pumping and lowering the groundwater table. After the pumping was stopped, the settlements ended almost completely. After that, the structure restoration and the widening were decided upon in 1996. To carry modern day traffic the bridge had to be strengthened and widened in a manner that maintains the bridge's heritage aspect. The repair includes foundation protection, vault jacking to put back the pressure line in the arches, and replacement of the filling material. The widening consisted of a wide lightweight concrete slab supported by the filling material. Work was started in 1999 and completed after 10 months in fall of 2000.
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