Published On: Thu, Oct 16th, 2014

Renovation Emmabrug after Cruise Season

Queen Emma bridgeWILLEMSTAD - Early this year Curaҫao Ports Authority (CPA) began repairing the wood wear layer (the deck on which one walks) of the Queen Emma Bridge. According to the original design (renovation 2006) that would have to be done every few years. CPA quickly found that the structure layer, which sits below the wear layer, was also rotting and should be therefore replaced. CPA then stopped with the repair of the deck to re-evaluate the project.

After extensive consultation with TNO (Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and Public Works Department, it was decided that the entire deck of the Emma Bridge will be redesigned and should be applied in a different way.

The most obvious solution is to remove the wear layer and the structure layer as a whole, and replacing it with a new layer of 60 mm. These boards will be laid with a distance of 5 mm from each other. The big advantage of this solution is that the wood can ventilate on all sides as is usual with a Jetty.

In order to achieve the necessary structural strength, the timber will be placed into a herringbone pattern. Three types of wood will be considered; Azobe, Angelim Vermehlo and Accoya and wherein the first two types are hardwood and the latter of the softwood species that has undergone a non-toxic acetylation process. The result is a durable solid wood that is ideal for use as deck planks. In addition, it has a large dimensional stability.

Because the cruise season is now approaching and the work cannot take place in high season it was decided to shift to mid-2015. The renovation cannot be performed while the bridge is in use because the construction layer, as a whole, must be removed. The bridge will therefore be brought to another location for a certain period where there is less movement so that the work is monitored and can take place effectively. Early next year, CPA will make known exactly when the bridge will be taken out and how long it will take.

In the meantime, the deck of the bridge will be continuously monitored and where necessary parts will be replaced. This happens mostly at night because there is less traffic on the bridge, and it doesn’t swing open so often. There will also be signs posted that warn pedestrians of the uneven parts of the existing deck.

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