The emblematic work, of 44 years, was designed by Riccardo Morandi, the same engineer who designed the bridge that fell last week in Genoa (Italy), in a tragedy that left 43 dead.
Last 14 August the fall of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa (Italy) left a balance of 43 deceased and dozens of wounded, not only left a country in mourning but a great questioning for the maintenance of this type of infrastructure in Europe, especially when many of them ll Eva several decades in service.
Lauren STEWRD, director of the Structural Engineering and Materials Laboratory at Georgia Tech University, told CNN that there is a “large number of bridges and infrastructure in general that is coming to this end-of-service life ” As was the case with the The Morandi bridge, which is why conservation measures must be extreme.
So the suspicions, when it became present that Morandi was the same designer of the bridge that officially is called as the former conservative president Laureano Gómez, but in the capital Atlanticense affectionately call him Pumarejo, in honor of Alberto Pumarejo , a great promoter of the work and considered one of the most illustrious Barranquilleros.
Before that, the Invias, in charge of the work, told SEMANA that although the work was designed by Morandi and has 44 years of service, “it is not possible to assume that the structure that serves mainly the city of Barranquilla is at risk.”
Maintenance the inroads indicated to week that in 1993 the entity carried out the reinforcement to the pile of the side of the district of Magdalena, where it built additional piles, longer, and contracted the construction of Spurs for the protection of the shores.
In 2003, when the bridge rails deteriorated, they were replaced by others with a combination of aluminium and concrete. That year also changed the asphalt folder and replaceded the public lighting after the theft of the wiring and installed an aerial.
Subsequently, in 2010 the structural and hydraulic maintenance was carried out which included reinforcement with carbon fiber from the main beam (the cable-tightened), which presented diagonal fissures. Also in the face of the wear of the batteries was the coating of them with sheets of steel and mortar of high resistance.
Taking into account the age of the bridge (44 years) the Invias indicates that it performs a periodic monitoring. “It is as well as to date, no problem has been detected that puts at risk neither to the structure nor to the security of the users,” said the entity.
The structure, which rises to a maximum of 16 meters above the plentiful river Magdalena, unites the capital Atlanticense with the island of Salamanca, in the municipality of Sitionuevo (Magdalena), and via Ciénaga, connects with much of the Caribbean coast, and the east and the center of the country.
The structure-as recalls an article by Gustavo Bell in the credential magazine History of 1999, which highlights the top 10 engineering works of the country-was contracted by the national government in 1970 with the consortium Cuéllar, Serrano, Gómez, Ltda. And the Italian company of Engineering Lodigiani S. A for a value of 143.2 million of the time, corresponding to about 118 billion pesos today.
“On 6 April 1974 President Misael Pastrana Barrero inaugurated it. A work in which 500 workers had invested 3.4 million hours of work and remained 42 months in its construction process, “says the author, who recalls that the most advanced techniques were used at the time.
“The pavement slabs were prefabricated for this purpose; Hincaron 332 pilots at depths of 20 to 30 m; The large beams of up to 120 tonnes of weight were built by the prestressed cable system; We used Formaletas sliding steel tablaestacados for the casting of columns, prefabricated joists and a whole support of cranes, boats, scaffolds and mixing plants “, stands out on the work, which is 12.5 m wide and measures end to end 1.5 km, the Longest in the country until 2015, when the Balseadero Bridge was made in Huila.
This infrastructure, according to Bell, changed ostensibly the dynamics of the coastal departments and it can be said that it has done it from the economic, social and even cultural fields. Despite this, there were criticisms of the Pumarejo because of its low height, which limits navigation by the Magdalena River. It was thought of making the bridge to 40 meters of height, but the surcharges by 40 million of pesos of then (about 32.7 billion of today) made desist the government.