During the initial phases of the project, WSP developed three solutions that responded to all the mandates set by the Chilean authorities. Chilean citizens chose the final solution that was designed and implemented through a popular vote, and the new Temuco Bridge is the result.
The new bridge is the third to be built over the Cautín River and has a prestressed concrete deck of 27 metres wide by 240 metres long and holds two traffic lanes in each direction and one sidewalk on each side for pedestrians and a bike lane. The cable-stayed bridge, which is suspended above the Cautín River crossing a span of 140 metres, is supported by a 72-meter high prestressed concrete pylon; the shape, inspired by a Mapuche legend, represents the struggle of the giant snakes Treng-Treng and Kay-Kay.
The biggest design challenge
The pylon, which serves as a centrepiece to the structure, was the greatest design challenge. It required a design that combines the symbolism associated with its three bends that invoke the heads of the two mythological snakes representative of the area with its structural function as a channelling element of the forces of the cables towards the centre line of the pylon.