The suspension bridge over the Danube from Brăila - the long road from promise to creation!

The story of the suspension bridge over the Danube from Brăila began in Ceausescu's time, in the 1980s. The communist regime at the time wanted to build more bridges over the Danube and promised that all regions of the country would be connected by high-speed roads.

The bridge over the Danube in Brăila - a 40-year-old promise

It's just that the bridge over the Danube from Brăila has remained at the stage of promises for more than 40 years. Even after the revolution, the election campaigns provided for the construction of this bridge in the governing program. People have been hoping and voting for decades. They hoped that the time would come when Tulcea County would be connected by Brăila and Galați Counties by a bridge, a simple bridge that would shorten the duration of travel to this corner of the country by many tens of minutes.

Those who live in Măcin - Brăila - Galați and the northern part of Dobrogea certainly know what it means to sometimes wait in endless queues to cross the ferry to Brăila or Galați. Not to mention the harsh winter conditions, when frost and strong winds block the ferries.

After decades of promises, the contract for the construction of the grand bridge was signed on January 15, 2018. The Astaldi - IHI Infrastructure Systems group of companies won the much-contested tender to build the suspension bridge over the Danube in Brăila.

The bridge over the Danube from Brăila is a suspension road bridge under construction between the municipality of Brăila (Brăila County) and the village of Smârdan (Tulcea County) in Romania. It is part of the General Transport Master Plan. The bridge is listed as part of the Buzău - Brăila - Tulcea - Constanța expressway, a road planned to be built in the period 2020–2030 and which will connect northern Muntenia and southern Moldova to northern Dobrogea.

Suspension bridge over the Danube - Mihai Mugurel

Technical data for the Suspension Bridge over the Danube in Brăila

The suspension bridge will have a total length of 1.974,30 m, a central opening of 1.120 meters and two side openings of 489,65 and 364,65 meters. The vertical gauge of the bridge will be 38 m from the maximum flood level, thus meeting the navigation criteria on the Danube. The suspension system includes a main cable and vertical tie rods between the deck and the main cable, and the anchor blocks are integrated in the ground and are located outside the Danube dams.

The total width of the suspension bridge from Brăila is 31,70 meters. The path on the bridge will have 22,00 meters and will consist of 4 traffic lanes 3,50 m wide each, 4 framing lanes 0,5 m wide, two sidewalks 1,50 m wide and an area median with a width of 3,00 m. To these are added, on either side, 2 additional lanes for pedestrian traffic, bicycles and maintenance, the sidewalks having widths of 2,80 m each.

Suspension bridge over the Danube - the tallest building in Romania

When raising the pillars of the bridge over the Danube, it advanced almost 2m, every day. The pillars were poured in a continuous system. The formwork system was guided by laser and allowed the continuous casting of the pillars so that it worked 24 hours a day, 24 days a week. The two legs of the bridge, which are each 7 meters, are practically the tallest constructions. from Romania (beyond chimneys or antennas).

The huge steel cables, which will support the bridge deck, will consist of 81000 kilometers of steel wire. The wires will be braided and will form 16 strands that will form two cables with a length of two kilometers each. The total weight of the two cables is over 6.700 tons.

The bridge will have 86 segments of the metal deck

Each cable is 60 centimeters in diameter and will support the metal deck with the help of straps. On each shore, the cables will be anchored in an anchor block. Each segment of the metal deck has an average weight of 250 tons. In total, there will be 86 segments of the metal deck weighing a total of over 20.800 tons.

At the Brăila bridge, a dehumidification system will work for all the bridge assemblies, including the metal deck and the cables. The cables will be insulated on the outside with a protection that ensures tightness, and the air inside will be permanently dehumidified and monitored so as to ensure an anti-corrosion environment.

Normally, the work should be ready in 2023, but there are promises that we will be able to travel on the Suspension Bridge over the Danube to Brăila until the end of 2022.