The Chinese Society of Structural Engineering has presented Sinotech with the 2018 Structural Engineering Technical Award for design work on the Taipei Metro Circular Line Bridge (tender lot DF111). S.H. Cheng, Senior Vice President of the Railway Engineering Department, accepted the award during a ceremony held at the National Taiwan University Institute of Applied Mechanics.
The Taipei Metro Circular Line Bridge is a landmark in the ambitious plan to connect Greater Taipei via MRT lines. The bridge spans the Xindian River and is located in New Taipei City nearby Xiulang Bridge. If crossing from Xindian District over to Zhonghe District, train passengers will notice that the bridge stretches diagonally across the river and around a hill. This route is intentional so that the Circular Line avoids impacting a cultural heritage site on the Zhonghe side.
The Sinotech design team spent a great deal of effort addressing bridge design and construction challenges and anticipating bridge performance. Because of the long span (about 120 meters), and because of the small radius of curvature on each end (between 100 and 119 meters), the team selected a steel box girder design. The superior torsional stiffness of this bridge type reduces the likelihood of track twist. A steel box girder bridge is also suited to piecemeal crane erection. Prefabricated bridge sections were transported to the site and erected at night, thereby mitigating the impact on traffic. Other design considerations included how the Circular Line employs steel wheels and steel tracks, and how constant acceleration, braking, and changes in temperature might affect the overall structure. One noteworthy feature is that the design did not require rail expansion joints — this reduces the noise of passing trains and creates a smoother ride for passengers.
Finally, planners factored in the hydrological characteristics of the Xindian River and incorporated architectural themes to create a unique landmark. Two Y-shaped piers mitigate the bridge’s impact on water flow and allow for a longer, more aesthetic span. Distinguishing features of the bridge include the curved halving joints of the Y-piers, the long clean lines of the span, and an eighteen-color rainbow palette conceived by architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux.