“The Caterpillar” - A moving bridge structure.
For a design competition for a bridge in Vienna, a concept for a moving bridge in the form of a lenticular girder was developed which, in addition to its strict functionality and material efficiency, features an innovative lifting mechanism. The lifting principle is based on shortening the lower chord of the girder with the help of cables and two intermediate hydraulic cylinders. In order to create the required clearance profile, the bridge is lifted asymmetrically, which results in a deformation of the shape which is reminiscent of a caterpillar. In addition, the upper deck was designed using hightensile steel so that the considerable deformation could be absorbed by the elasticity of the material, which means that maintenance-intensive hinges could be omitted. This structural system with its lifting mechanism makes it possible to significantly lower costs as there are no large horizontal forces to be transferred to the ground. The concept was developed for a span of approx. 60 m but can also be adapted to spans of different sizes and is therefore suitable for many situations.