Phu My Bridge over the Saigon River

In many emerging markets, traffic grows faster than road infrastructure, which hinders the otherwise dynamic growth. Vietnam is one of those markets and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's biggest city, is choking because of its congested roads. A new ring road around the city has been planned and will bring much needed relief. A key element of this ring road is the impressive 705 meters long Phu My Bridge, which has just been completed at end of August 2009. Holcim, a proven solutions provider in integrated building materials, had been chosen as exclusive supplier of cements for the concrete needed for this project.

Ho Chi Minh City's traffic problems, already big, have become a serious threat to the economic growth of the Southeast Asian metropolis. Before September 2, 2009 (Vietnam's National Day), when the new Phu My Bridge was opened, all the heavy goods vehicle traffic heading north had two possibilities, neither of them being satisfactory: the route through the city and its clogged roads or a loop route far west of the city.

When complete, the new ring road will connect the Mekong Delta Region in the south with Central and North Vietnam, allowing for more convenient logistics and improving the traffic conditions in the city center significantly. As the ring road crosses the wide Saigon River to the south of Ho Chi Minh City, the Phu My Bridge connects the two distant banks: The 705 meter stay-cable bridge has a center span of 380 meters; the vertical clearance of 45 meters in a 200 meters wide zone ensures that river traffic and large vessels can flow unimpeded; each pylon is about 140 meters high and is supported by twenty-eight large bored piles of approximately 2.1 meters in diameter and 75 meters in length. Such a project could only be realized by expert design and construction specialists, using best quality construction materials.

 


Efficient Construction thanks to excellent Know-how, Manpower…

The Phu My Bridge was built in only 30 months, 4 months ahead of schedule. The broad expertise of main contractor BBBH, a consortium of Bilfinger Berger Civil and Baulderstone Hornibrook that had proven to be capable of realizing similar large scale projects in the past (such as the Anzac Bridge in Sydney or the My-Thuan Bridge in Vietnam), was vital for the Vietnamese project.

The project team was composed of experienced and multinational specialists: 70 Vietnamese, 22 non-Vietnamese Asians and 13 Europeans and Americans. Overall people from 11 nations were involved.


…and Construction Materials

Deck slabs and pylons were built with concrete using Holcim Ready Flow cement, which displays a good workability and also a very high early concrete strength and durability. Workability and high early concrete strength ensured the contractor would meet the construction deadline as the concrete allowed for a 5 day rotation time to cast the deck segments of the bridge and to move the formwork to its next position. High durability promises a long life for the bridge. The destructive alkali-aggregate reaction that can sometimes be observed with ordinary concrete can be mitigated due to the limited alkali content in Holcim Ready Flow cement and a good choice of aggregates.

 

 


Holcim Mass Pour cement was used to build the 4 massive pile caps that connect the huge pylons to the bored piles. The low heat cement has contributed to reducing the heat development in the large mass of concrete forming the pile caps, avoiding the risk of cracks that would have endangered the structural integrity of the bridge.

Holcim, the professional partner

Holcim Vietnam provided main contractor BBBH with a tailored solution, including delivery logistics, to realize the project and its efficient execution. The technical support team of Holcim followed the jobsite closely, at the initial mix-design and during execution, to avoid any possible issues or delays. Holcim Vietnam's supply chain department assured a smooth delivery of cement in sometimes very challenging circumstances. To execute large pours without delay, Holcim Beton assisted the batching plants on the jobsite with high-quality ready-mix concrete, compliant to the specifications of the jobsite.