Largest steel bridge up on U-Bora

The bridge is installed between core 1 and 2 of the residential building. The two sides of the building meet on the 14th floor. (SUPPLIED)

The U-Bora Towers, a mixed-use development in Business Bay yesterday saw the raising of the largest steel bridge on a residential building in the UAE, according to a senior official from Bando Engineering, its developer and contractor. The weight of the bridge stood at 280 tonnes, which is the same as an Airbus A380.

Ian Powell, Business Development Manager at Bando Engineering & Construction said: "We started work on the two million sq ft project in August 2006. The anticipated completion date to finish the project is end-2010."

In an earlier interview with Emirates Business in June 2009, he had stated the project was expected to be complete by end-March 2010. The project is designed by Aedas, an architectural firm.

"At this moment, only four floors remain to be completed on the residential part of the building. Today, we installed the bridge between core 1 and 2 of the residential building. The two sides of the building meet on the 14th floor. To achieve this feat, a steel frame was constructed on site, and then lifted into position. We worked with Techno Steel as steel works sub-contractor. It manufactured the truss and used the services of VSL, another sub-contractor, to jack the frame into position," said Powell. The process used 2,000 steel pieces, 20,000 steel bolts and the bridge was 40metre long, eight metre wide and four metre deep. It took three hours to complete the process and the total cost of the operation stood at around $1million (Dh3.67m).

The cladding of the residential tower will start in two months while 50 per cent of the cladding is complete on the commercial tower, said Powell. "Our scope of work was fabrication and erection," said a Technosteel spokesperson. "We started fabrication in early November 2009 and finished by January this year. The end result consists of six trusses assembled into one bridge.

"We could not find a crane available in the UAE to lift such a huge assembly and so we took the assistance from VFL who helped us to lift the bridge up to a height of 60 to 70 metres using innovative techniques," he said.

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