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Panama Canal Second Crossing

Panama City, Panama

Market Sector

Bridge

Type

Cable-Stayed

Services Provided

Design, Seismic Analysis and Design

Region

Americas

The Ministry of Public Works of Panama (MOP) selected T.Y. Lin International to provide a feasibility study, as well as preliminary and final design services for the concrete cable-stayed Second Crossing of the Panama Canal. With a total superstructure length of 3,450 feet, the Second Crossing is the world’s third-longest concrete cable-stayed span and the longest concrete cable-stayed bridge span in the Americas. T.Y. Lin International also provided field construction support for the fast-track final design during construction.

Project Highlights:

  • World’s third-longest concrete cable-stayed span and the longest concrete cable-stayed bridge span in the Americas.
  • A successful fast-track design schedule enabled the project to be completed in just 22 month, nearly five months ahead of the initial construction schedule.

To complete construction within the 27-month schedule, T.Y. Lin International carried out the bridge design to 30 percent before construction bidding began. When the contractor was selected, T.Y. Lin International completed the design in conjunction with construction, similar to the design/build process. To expedite completion of the bridge and to ensure no disruption to Panama Canal ship traffic, the balanced cantilever construction of the cast-in-place, concrete deck began shortly after the pylon construction reached elevation above the deck. Because the pylons, approach spans, and main span were constructed simultaneously, the project was actually completed in 22 months, nearly 5 months ahead of the initial construction schedule.

The 1,378-foot main span consists of two 614-foot single-mast concrete towers with one central plane of cables in the middle of the deck. The side spans on each tower are 656 feet long, and the superstructure is a continuous concrete box girder between abutments. The west tower and west approach structures were constructed over the soft soil layers of the “Cucaracha Formation,” a form of clay shale that is prone to landslides. For this reason, depth foundations consisting of CIDH drilled shafts 6.5-foot-in-diameter from 131 feet to 197 feet long were used. For the foundation on the east sides of the bridge, shorter 9.8-foot-diameter CIDH pile foundations were used. With a clearance of 262 feet, the record-span bridge provides ample clearance for ships navigating the Panama Canal. Construction was complete in 2004, and with the opening of a new highway system, the six-lane bridge is now a fitting symbol commemorating 100 years of Panamanian independence.

Awards
Merit Award, 2007
Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC)
Bridge Award of Excellence, 2005
American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI)