As well as the "city of the old rock" and the "city of eagles", Constantine is also known as the "city of bridges". There are seven of these in total, linking the two parts of the city, separated by the gorges of the Rhumel River. Intimately linked to the city's identity, they are now insufficient for a metropolis of almost a million inhabitants which has intense motor traffic.
This is what led to the idea of creating an eighth - Independence Bridge (le Pont de l'Indépendance). When the project was first presented, many Constantine residents could hardly believe it. Now the majority are enthusiastic. It certainly looks impressive, this 1,150m long, 27m wide cable-stayed viaduct, designed to carry four lanes of traffic, as well as a lane for the future tramway and sidewalks for pedestrians.
Recognizable for the elegance of its two slender spires, rising above the 130m high towers, and its white cables, Independence Bridge, or the "Transrhumel", has already taken its place as a symbol of this ancient city's renovation and modernization.
LafargeHolcim puts its expertise to work
The project was technically difficult due to concerns over the stability of the ground. The piles needed to be anchored more than 60m deep to support the eight towers on which the deck is laid.
The project manager, Brazilian Group Andrade-Gutierrez, called on the expertise of LafargeHolcim, which has a strong presence in Algeria, to produce all the concrete, particularly the special concretes:
- Ultra Sprayed (stabilization of the screes, ground instability and landslide)
- Ultra High Resistance,
- Ultra Chemical Resistance (for the piles and foundations, aggressive soil)
- Ultra Fiber-reinforced
- Chronolia (To speed up production output of voussoirs)
- Artevia (For creation of the viaduct's sidewalks)
- Post-tensioning grout
Completed by a new road access, this "eighth wonder" of the city will be ready to host events for Constantine's nomination as "Arab Capital of Culture 2015".