The Shanghai Lu Pu Suspension Bridge, will soon become the “No.1 Arch Bridge in the World”. The central 550 meter-long steel arch, which spans the new 3,900 meter-long bridge over the Huang Pu River, is 32 meters longer than the current world record holder – the 518 meter-long New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia, United States. To place the steel arch elements with the highest accuracy, the most precise surveying methods required the use of an automated laser Total Station Leica TCA2003.
Construction of the huge six-lane Lu Pu Bridge began in October 2000 and has cost 2.25 billion yuan (272 million US dollars). The main section of the 3,900 meter-long bridge is 750 meters long and 28.7 meters wide. The 550 meter-long main arch is made up of 27 box connectors, assembled by jointing, and 28 pairs of hangers linking the bridge deck. Over 35,000 tons of steel has been used in its construction. The final stage of installation – the connection of the two bridge sections – has proven to be the most difficult part of the project. In order to ensure that the final two segments from both sides of the river met exactly, precision surveying equipment of Leica Geosystems was also used in this phase of construction by monitoring the movements of the arch elements with an automated laser Total Station Leica TCA2003 providing an accuracy of fractions of a millimetre. Final construction work involves the laying of the bridge deck and roadway.
The last deck section of the Lu Pu Bridge was successfully installed in February 2003, and it is anticipated that the whole project will be completed by June 2003. According to Vice-mayor Han Zheng, the bridge will help to relieve traffic crossing the river, and also contribute to Shanghai’s bid for the World Expo 2010. The Lu Pu Suspension Bridge represents one of the three new river crossings to be opened for public in 2003 in the fast developing metropolitan area of Shanghai, the two other crossings being constructed in form of tunnels. The world’s longest steel arch bridge – the 3,900 metre-long Lu Pu bridge – now crosses the Huang Pu River in Shanghai. With automated laser total surveying stations Leica TCA2003, the positioning of the elements was possible to millimetre accuracy by providing real-time data five times per second.