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First unique bridge installation in the Middle East goes smooth

Manama: Installation of the U.S. Navy Flyover Bridge on Thursday 30th January night and Friday, 31st January morning, forcing the closure of the highway, went smoothly, according to the Main Contractor.

Contrack NASS J.V., the main contractor at the Waterfront Development Project was leading the unique bridge construction effort. Its approach was one of the most cutting edge which included: “build, lift, move and install” and is unlike any bridge installation undertaken in the Middle East.

“The flyover bridge is approximately 122.5m long, 16m wide and 21.4m tall (from ground 27.5m), and is a tied arch cable suspension bridge with a roadway and pedestrian walkway. The 16 meter wide bridge deck is a concrete post tensioned construction. The entire bridge was constructed at an offsite facility about 250 meters away from the permanent location across Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Highway and was moved to be placed at two end piers with highway completely open. ”says Mr. Ghazi Nass, Supervisory Board Member of Contrack Nass J.V. and Director of Nass Corporation B.S.C.

“Known as the ‘SPMT (Self-propelled Modular Transporter) Bridge Move’, a team of experts from Contrack Nass J.V. and Sarens Nass Middle East moved this off-site manufactured bridge weighing 2650 metric tons (with lifting beam 2850 metric tons) from the assembly location to the Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Highway The use of self-propelled modular transporter technology provides the ultimate flexibility and speed in moving and installing bridge structures and reducing construction related impacts to the traveling public as a major priority for the nation's highway program”, says Mr. Ayman El Gayar, Regional Manager of Contrack International.

“Construction on the bridge began in September 2012, and the actual movement of the bridge to the highway started on Thursday, 30th January 2014 from 12:30p.m. till Friday at 8:30a.m.”, says Project Manager, Mr. Ali Chahine.
He added, “Our subcontractor Sarens Nass M.E. provided 96 axles of self-propelled modular trailers for transporting the 3000 ton bridge and jacking it to the bearing points on the highway. Bahrain’s Ministry of Works had ordered the closure of the highway to carry out this ambitious operation, a first in the Middle East. Off-site construction of the bridge, results in safer working conditions and shortened road closures.”

Mr Sami Nass, Managing Director of Sarens Nass Middle East and Nass Corporation B.S.C. says Sarens Nass is one of the few Middle East heavy lifting companies that has established itself as a prime specialist in the past ten years, working to meet a seemingly insatiable demand for heavy lift operations. Even though we have 1000 axles working every day in the Sarens Nass fleet, this project was unique and challenging because of the engineering aspects involved in the movement and jacking process. Every millimeter of precision on the move is important to ensure safety of the bridge, Our team of experts worked three days to move the bridge from its actual location to fixing position and six hours of carefully planned and programmed movement to ensure precision, maneuverability and stability while moving the bridge along the main highway.”
He also added that Nass Mechanical Contracting Company which is also a Nass Corporation company served as the subcontractor to fabricate and erect the 2850 metric tons lifting beams to carry the bridge, and also erected all steel structures including the bridge arch.

Other subcontractors are:

  • Tony Gee and Partners - third party bridge designer for bridge modeling and design of temporary works played a key role;
  • Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Middle East (Private) Limited - fabrication and installation Structural Steel Arch Rib;
  • Mekano4 MK4 for installing and tensioning the hangers - Hangers supplied by Redealli thru Contrack Nass JV;
  • VSL Middle East LLC for bridge deck post tensioning, jacking of the bridge and stressing of PT bars between lifting beams and bridge deck;
  • Sarens Nass Middle East W.L.L. for bridge movement;
  • Nass Mechanical Contracting Co W.L.L. for fabrication and installation of lifting beams and for installation of Arch ribs under Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Middle East (Private) Limited;
  • RMD Kiwiform (Almoayyed) Bahrain W.L.L. as formwork supplier.


Mr. Wahid Hakki, CEO of Contrack International said that “This will remain a landmark design-build project in the history of bridge construction in Middle East, and we are proud to have lent our experience with accelerated bridge construction techniques to help set a new standard of efficiency for transportation projects in Bahrain. In future, conventional bridge construction methods could be replaced with the SPMT technology to reduce traffic interruptions from months to few hours at bridge construction projects.” He thanked all subcontractors for their sincere effort to make this unique project a resounding success.

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