Chilean bridge repairs planned

Repair work is planned for a high profile Chilean bridge.
Road Structures / September 13, 2021 45 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
Repair work is planned for an important bridge in Chile - image courtesy of © Martine Oger,
Repair work is planned in Chile for the Cau Cau Bridge, which connects to Teja Island. The tender process for the repair work is being managed by the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) and is opening in due course, having been delayed from August 2021.

The bascule type bridge is located in the town of Valdiva, in the Los Rios region, some 840km to the south of capital Santiago. It has been the source of some embarrassment in Chile since it was constructed. The bridge spans the Cau Cau River and was the first in Chile to feature a lifting system, having originally intended to be complete in 2014.

But firms carrying out the work made a number of serious technical errors, resulting in the lifting system being inoperative. Repairs were to have been carried out in 2016 but were delayed due to a number of reasons, not the least of which was the torturous legal case involving claims and counter claims as to which party was responsible for the mistakes made during design and construction.

The bridge was originally intended to be able to raise sufficiently to allow vessels to pass underneath. It would have been the first such bridge built in South America. However, there was considerable embarrassment for all concerned when it transpired that one of the decks had its lifting system upside down.