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17 September 2019

Chilean bridge problem – design at fault

First published17/09/2019

Design issues were the cause of problems with Chile’s Cau Cau bridge, not construction. This is the legal ruling following a court case. The Chilean authorities will now have to pay US$1.2 million to the construction firm, Azvi, which had erected the bridge. This sum had been withheld following a dispute over the state of the bridge.

The Cau Cau bridge was designed as a bascule type structure. It was intended to be able to lift up, to allow vessels to pass, the first such bridge in South America. However it was the focus for embarrassment when it transpired that one of the decks had been erected with its lifting system upside down. The Chilean road authorities claim that Azvi should have noticed that the design was incorrect during the construction process.

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