Yesanhe River Railway Bridge

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Yesanhe River Railway Bridge
野三河大桥
Gaopingzhen, Hubei, China
459 feet high / 140 meters high
407 foot span / 124 meter span
2010


The Yesanhe was one of China’s first big rivers to be crossed by a very high bridge when a reinforced concrete arch span of 295 feet (90 mtrs) opened in 1977. At the time it was the highest bridge ever built in China at 400 feet (122 mtrs). It was not surpassed for 18 years until the Jiangjiehe arch bridge was built in 1995.

By 2000, planning and construction had begun on a new railway line that would bypass the Yangtze River gorge and finally connect Shanghai in the east with the fast growing cities of Chongqing and Chengdu in the west. The Yichang to Enshi stretch of the railway is one of the most difficult construction projects ever undertaken in the history of railways with a seemingly endless succession of tunnels and bridges. It is rare for any rail line in the world to have a single bridge over 328 feet (100 mtrs) - the Yichang to Enshi stretch has at least four. It is no surprise that the highest bridge on the route was built to cross the deep gash of the Yesanhe River gorge. Located just a mile (2 kms) or so upstream of the 1977 arch, the new Yesanhe railway bridge is even higher at 459 feet (140 mtrs). Roughly paralleling the new rail line is the spectacular West Hurong highway with Siduhe and Zhijinghe, the highest suspension and arch bridges in the world.

Built as a concrete filled steel tubular structure, the Yesanhe railway arch was initially hollow during construction. After the pieces were assembled across the gorge using a highline, concrete was pumped inside of them from the foundations upward to the crown. First developed by the Chinese in the 1990s, they have refined and improved the technique and now use it on the majority of their steel arch bridges. Depending on the length of the span and the width of the bridge, different styles of tubing are used. For Yesanhe, two horizontal dumbbells were used for each rib. Other configurations have single tubes further apart or a tight cluster of tubes known as “multiple contiguous”. Once hardened, the concrete solidifies and stiffens the arch, improving the compressive strength of the entire structure. The Yesanhe is an asymmetrical partial through arch.

Although Yesanhe was completed in 2008, the rail line is not likely to open until 2010. If you visit the Yesanhe highway, road and rail bridges, also be sure to hike down to the water pipeline bridge just downstream of the road arch as well as a new pipeline bridge next to the road arch. The older suspension pipeline span is at least 250 feet (76 mtrs) high while the new one is around 400 feet (122 mtrs).


当1997年一座主跨90米的普通钢筋混凝土拱桥建成时,野三河称为中国第一批建有很高大桥的河流之一。在当时,以其122米的高度,该桥是中国曾经建成的最高的桥梁。直到1995年江界河拱桥建成,野三河大桥的18记录才在18年后被超越。

2000年,规划并且已经在建的这条新的铁路线,以长江大峡谷几乎一路相伴,最终要将东部的上海与西部的快速发展的重庆和成都连接起来。宜昌到恩施段的铁路线是有史以来最难建设的工程之一,似乎其上串联起无数的隧道和桥梁。在世界上其他地区罕有一条铁路线上能有一座超过100米高的桥梁——宜恩铁路上居然至少有四座!所以,在这条铁路线上,最高的大桥建在跨越野三河大峡谷之上也不足为奇。位于1977年建成的拱桥上游大约一英里(两公里)远处,新的野三河铁路桥则要更高,达到140米。与这条铁路线大致平行的就是拥有着世界最高的悬索桥四渡河和拱桥支井河大桥的沪蓉西高速公路。

建成后成为一座钢管混凝土结构,野三河铁路拱桥施工时,钢管是空心的。在拱桥的构件节段都被高空缆索吊装、合拢并跨越峡谷后,混凝土从拱脚基础处向拱顶处进行灌注填充。这一技术最初在20世纪90年在中国使用,之后又被加以完善改进,现在已经在中国多数的钢拱桥上使用。根据桥梁跨度和宽度的不同,许多不同的钢管形式均有使用。对野三河大桥而言,每道拱圈均采用两根水平向哑铃型。其他的构造形式,有分离式单管,或者紧促的钢管束(组合式钢管)。一旦强化,混凝土就会固结并加强拱圈,增强整个结构的整体强度。野三河大桥是一座不对称的系杆拱桥。

尽管2008年该桥已经建成,这条铁路线很可能得等到2010年才能通车。如果你想参观野三河公路、铁路桥的话,得记住沿着山路走下到位于公路桥下游不远处的输水管线桥的边上观赏。这到输水管线桥也至少有76米高。


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A mid-2006 view of the Yesanhe River Railway bridge showing the high line construction tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com








Yesanhe River Railway bridge drawing.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by www.tvyoo.com


Yesanhe River Bridges location map.


Yesanhe River Railway Bridge satellite image showing the rail line crossing to the north and the national road arch and old pipeline bridge to the south. The new pipeline bridge was not yet constructed.

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