The Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge in Mexico, inaugurated in January 2012, is now the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world at 403 m (1322 ft) above the Baluarte riverbed below.
Located in the northwest of Mexico, the bridge connects the two states of Sinaloa and Durango, along what will be the new Durango-Mazatlán Highway. The highway will be opened to traffic later in 2012, and will include 63 tunnels and 32 bridges in total. This new road will cut the travel time between Durango and Mazatlán from 8 hours to 2 ½. The “Bicentennial” part of the name commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain, in 1810, as construction on the bridge began in 2010.
The Baluarte Bridge’s roadway is 20 m (66 ft) wide by 1124 m (3688 ft) long, supported by 12 piers, two of which rise up to form the towers to which the cables securing the bridge are attached. The clearance of 390 m (1280 ft) below the deck of the bridge is 120 m (390 ft) higher than the 270 m (890 ft) clearance of the previous record holder, the Millau Viaduct in France, inaugurated in 2004.
It is estimated that to January 2012, construction of the bridge used 12,000 tonnes of steel, 90,000 cubic metres of concrete and employed 1,500 workers and engineers. Around 447,000 cubic metres (584,700 cubic yards) of rock were excavated for the foundations.
To learn about other historic civil engineering projects, visit the People and Projects section of the ASCE website.