Renovation Emma Bridge to start after Cruise Season
Published on October 16, 2014Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) started with repairs to the wooden top deck of the Queen Emma Bridge at the beginning of this year.
Willemstad, Curaçao — Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) started with repairs to the wooden top deck of the Queen Emma Bridge at the beginning of this year. Based on the original design (renovation 2006) this should happen every few years. However, very soon it was established that the construction layer, which is underneath the top layer, was also rotting and had to be replaced as well. Consequently, CPA stopped with the repairs of the deck to re-evaluate the project.
After thorough consultation with TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and Public Works, it was decided that the entire deck of the Emma Bridge has to be re-designed applied differently.
The current solution is to completely remove both the construction layer and the wear-resistant top layer, replacing them with one (1) new layer of 60 mm. The planks will be placed at 5 mm distance from each other, allowing the wood to ventilate from all sides, as is the case with a fixed quay.
To reach the necessary constructive strength the wood will be laid in a herringbone pattern. Three types of wood are being considered: Azobe, Angelim Vermehlo and Accoya, whereby the first two are hardwood types and the latter a softwood type that has undergone a non-toxic acetylation process. The result is a sustainable solid type of wood that is extremely suited to be applied as deck planks. Furthermore it has a great dimensional stability.
Since we are approaching the cruise season, it has been decided to start the work mid-2015. The renovation cannot be implemented while the bridge is in use, because the construction layer must be removed completely as well. The bridge will be moved to another location during the renovation where there is less of a swell, so that the work can take place in a controlled and effective manner. By the beginning of next year, CPA will know when the bridge will be removed and approximately how long the renovation will take.
In the meantime, the deck of the bridge is constantly inspected and where necessary parts are being replaced. This happens mainly at night, because at that time there is less traffic on the bridge and it opens less. Also signs will be placed warning pedestrians about the uneven parts of the existing deck.