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Bridge Apollo

The Bridge Apollo spans 517.5 meters across the Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia. Constructed in an area of the city that is rapidly becoming the center of the Slovakian capital, the bridge was designed to make a bold aesthetic statement that would complement the city's other bridges while becoming a modern landmark in its own right. The bridge was designed to carry increasing town traffic across the river, as well as serve pedestrians and cyclists, and allows for better utilization of the recreational area on the Petrzalka side of the river. A promenade along the river bank can be extended up to the area between the old and new bridges, and construction of new hotels and administrative buildings is also planned in the area.

The geometric shape of the bridge is very sophisticated due to its skewed nature, curved lines, curved vertical alignment and inclination of both arches. A load-bearing system of the main bridge is designed as a six-span, continuous steel structure with two main girders. In the length of the main span, to enable the girders to function as a tie of the arches, the girders are suspended by a system of stays on two mutually included arches. In a rare maneuver, the 5,240-ton steel arch structure, which spans 231 meters and was constructed on the left bank, was rotated and turned—using several barges—across the Danube River into its final position on a pillar 40 meters from the right bank.

After a thorough hydro-geological and environmental survey, the decision was made to eliminate an ecological load in the old industrial zone of Bratislava, through which the bridge's approaches are routed. This portion of the project involved the decontamination of a former refinery with extensively polluted soil and underground water—the result of its bombing during World War II. The resulting bridge, with its design, light grey and dark blue color solution, and illumination, has become a premier attraction on the city's skyline.

The bridge was selected by ASCE as a finalist for the 2006 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award.