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Under the Abu Dhabi bridges

There are few interesting bridges to explore in Abu Dhabi, the most famous being the Sheikh Zayed bridge designed by Zaha Hadid. Her works typically resemble pure art relatively far from engineering justice, so I'll save the opportunity of close-ups for later times.
Sheikh Khalifa bridge
Instead let's have a look at Sheikh Khalifa bridge on E12 Sheikh Khalifa (naturally!) highway connecting Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat islands. Saadiyat island is a work in early progress to become a major cultural centre. They just started to build Louvre Abu Dhabi this year and there will be a whole bunch of museums, galleries, theatres, etc. The desert will be no more.
The E12 highway is a massive 5+5 lanes road crossing Saadiyat and Yas islands where are many world famous tourist attractions. Current traffic is very little compared to the road capacity designed to handle the full development of Saadiyat and Yas islands. Staged infrastructure development is not really a custom around here. Except that all means of rail transport is behind..

The design of Khalifa bridge is visually nothing too fancy, no cable stays or arches, just a concrete girder. It is a bit shame as it is a massive structure next to the Al Reem and Al Maryah islands with rapidly growing highrise mixed developments that could have much more to look at. Now it is just a big peace of concrete that makes you feel comfortable to drive your panzer-tank.
Al Reem island residential towers have a view to Sheikh Khalifa bridge
The cross-section of the Khalifa bridge has three girders supported by three columns at each pier. This setup is not very common, typically there is either one or two or any even number of girders and columns. This arrangement seems to be due the allocation for future metro line in the middle of the bridge. This can clearly be seen at the Saadiyat island abutment, where carriageways are separated and in between there is additional, currently unused bridge deck. Just makes me wondering why this kind of design was chosen? Why not putting the metro under neath the deck, like many large bridges have, see for example Øresund bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen? Of course the view from top of the bridge will probably be better than under the bridge. But shading is also a valuable feature in this climate.
As the bridge is very high to allow sailing yahts to access several marinas and wide at the same time, it is actually difficult to realise that the main span of the bridge is 200m long.  
Annoying thing is missing pedestrian and cycling facilities, actually there is no legal nor safe way to access Saadiyat island by foot.
V-shaped mascular piers
Intermediate columns are much slimmer
The 1455metre long bridge has been designed by Parsons, built by Saif Bin Darwish as main contractor and paid by Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development and Investment Company. Opened to traffic already in 2009.
More about Saadiyat bridge design and construction: http://www.parsons.com/projects/pages/saadiyat-bridge.aspx

Hodariyat island bridge is a completely different case. Now the 200metre main span looks like it is 200metres. Cable stayed solution is just perfectly engineered and aesthetically sound though you can find hundreds of similar bridges around the world. The superstructure is slim and transparent. Just the personality is missing.
Hodariyat island bridge is slim and transparent


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Well optimised cross-section
Well done, footpaths both sides!

Hodariyat island is still desert where development plans have been kept secret
As there is no land-use on Hodariyat island, the bridge is closed for traffic. Perfectly silent place to go for jogging and magnificient views over Abu Dhabi.
Designed by International Bridge Technologies, built by Overseas AST / VSL Joint Venture, paid by the same client.

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