The American Concrete Institute (ACI) presented the "Excellence Award," their highest honor, to Viaduct Over River Almonte in Garrovillas de Alconétar, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. This award is given annually to one project that demonstrates excellence in concrete innovation and technology and stands out above all other entries.
A new high-speed rail line is under construction between Madrid and the Extremadura, a western Spanish region bordering Portugal. The line will cross over the River Almonte on a 3270 foot long viaduct—a concrete arch bridge with a main span of 1260 feet. Designed to carry 218 mph rail traffic, the viaduct had to meet rigorous dynamic, serviceability, and safety criteria; and it required complex, staged calculations based on nonlinear material and nonlinear geometry behaviors. Nevertheless, it is aerodynamic and slender, largely due to key design features, including a four-legged arch configuration; 11,603 psi high-performance concrete; an efficient erection method, with temporary towers and stays; and an innovative monitoring system.
The viaduct’s 1260 foot main span makes it the largest railway bridge in Spain and the world’s largest concrete arch bridge for high-speed rail service. Its design combines structural efficiency, out-of-plane stability, improved response against cross wind effects, and aesthetics. The design is also environmentally friendly, as the bridge comprises durable materials, has been designed for expedient maintenance, and will include a bespoke barrier that will force birds to soar upward and above the overhead mast line. The bridge arch comprises high-performance, self-consolidating concrete. The complex erection procedure required the development of singular construction devices. The bridge was constructed using a ground-breaking instrumentation and monitoring system that provides information regarding the behavior of the structure during construction and service.
The ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards were created to honor the visions of the most creative projects in the concrete industry, while providing a platform to recognize concrete innovation, technology, and excellence across the globe. To be eligible for participation in the Excellence Awards, projects needed to be winners at a local ACI Chapter level and submitted by that chapter or chosen by one of ACI’s International Partners.
An independent panel of esteemed industry professionals judged projects and selected winners based on architectural and engineering merit, creativity, innovative construction techniques or solutions, innovative use of materials, ingenuity, sustainability, resilience, and functionality.
Additional winning projects were selected from among several possible categories, and included:
- Decorative Concrete
- First Place: Roofing of the Montpellier-South of France TGV Station in Montpellier, Herault, France
- Second Place: Water Garden in Santa Monica, Calif.
- High-Rise Buildings
- First Place: Reston Station OB1 Tower in Reston, Va.
- Second Place: Nexus Shopping and Business in Setor Marista, Goiânia, Brazil
- First Place: Viaduct Over River Almonte in Garrovillas de Alconétar, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain
- Second Place: Viroflay Underground Train Station – in Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine, France
- Low-Rise Buildings
- First Place: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, in Iowa City, Iowa
- Second Place: Design & Build of South Marina Yacht Club at Lusail (BP15) in Doha, Qatar
- Mid-Rise Buildings
- First Place: 1200 Intrepid Avenue in Philadelphia, Penn.
- Second Place: Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Repair & Restoration
- First Place: Provo City Center Temple in Provo, Utah
- Second Place: Ford Theaters Off Season Improvements Phase 2 & 3 in Hollywood, Calif.
The winning project details can be found at ACIExcellence.org. Entries for the 2019 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards are being accepted now through April 2, 2019.