Bridge design has been an integral part of WSP’s history. With multiple combinations of existing conditions and context, bridge design demands solutions that allow builders to work within the constraints that such conditions may impose.

In addition to the unique challenges presented by high-density urban settings, sensitive environments and established neighborhoods, other considerations may include the preservation of historic bridges, complex highway approaches, multiple review authorities, traffic maintenance issues, and budgetary restrictions.

In order to navigate those complexities, clients must develop an action plan and timetable to convert their projects into practical realities that can be achieved as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. WSP bridge engineers utilize a combination of field experience and state-of- the-practice computer models to understand structural behavior and develop robust designs. Our team has experience using design standards and codes such as the Eurocode, AASHTO, AREMA and national/local client requirements. In addition to typical girder bridges, WSP has current experience and specialization in the following areas:

Segmental Concrete and Post-Tensioned Bridges

  • Cast-in place balanced cantilever

  • Precast balanced cantilever

  • Precast span-by- span

  • Cast-in place post-tensioned

  • Precast post-tensioned spliced concrete

  • Precast Substructure

Long Span Bridges

  • Arches

  • Cable-stayed

  • Extradosed

  • Suspension

  • Trusses 

Movable Bridges

  • Structural and M&E design & rehabilitation for

    • Bascule bridges

    • Swing bridges

    • Lift bridges

Rail Bridges

  • Heavy freight and passenger rail

  • Commuter passenger rail - light rail and metro rail

  • High speed rail

Preliminary Design

WSP has made substantial contributions to the domain of structural and foundation design, earning a reputation for resolving design issues, while balancing aesthetics and economics. Our services include the provision of Conceptual & Preliminary Design Reports and, when rehabilitation is the answer, the preparation of efficient and innovative designs and construction plans. We place particular emphasis on construction phasing and traffic maintenance. We embrace leading edge technology and can respond to the most sophisticated needs of any bridge project in today’s computer-aided design environment.

In Canada, our team designed a steel bascule bridge concept in reduced space to replace Bridge No. 9 over the Chambly canal, which was honored at the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s 2012 awards for Quebec’s best steel projects. In Bangkok, for the Kanchanaphisek Bridge, the longest bridge in Thailand and the 10th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, we performed the feasibility study, preliminary and detailed designs, as well as the construction supervision.

Tender Design

WSP regularly works on bridge projects with alternative delivery methods such as Design-Build, P3, Engineer Procure and Construct, or CM/GC. For the New Orbital Highway project in Doha, Qatar (Contract 4), we provided tender design services and value engineering for five interchanges and sixteen bridges. In Stockholm, Sweden, we performed the feasibility studies and conceptual design for the Stenkumla-Dunsjo project, as well as delivering the tender design for the six bridges along with the 13 km long double train track expansion.

Detailed Design

WSP’s detailed design process addresses issues such as the configuration of connections, careful detailing of reinforcing steel, and the smaller components of structural supports. We also account for non-structural supports, including parapets and cladding, whose collapse could jeopardize life safety. Whenever possible, our bridge engineers will also recommend relocation of new alignments to a site where sub-surface conditions pose less of a threat.

In Vietnam, we undertook the detailed design for the concrete cable-stayed Tran Thi Ly Bridge, which received several international awards for its innovative design, and is now a landmark of Da Nang. In Stockholm, Sweden, we provided the detailed design for the majority of NL52, one of the largest components of the multimillion Norra Länken project includes more than twenty bridge constructions with a total bridge surface of 40,000 m2 . In the United Kingdom, WSP’s detailed design of the award winning Redhayes Bridge broke new ground as the first bridge designed and constructed according to the Eurocodes.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

WSP’s bridge design team works daily with questions of statics, dynamics, costs, and constructability. We use 3D modeling to present bridge projects from a variety of vantage points prior to construction, facilitating the support and execution of a complete and final design. Using Building Information Modelling (BIM), the whole construction process can be integrated into one intelligent information model, which results in improved productivity, faster construction, higher quality, and lower costs.

In India, we 3D modelled the entire structure for Chenab Bridge, the tallest and longest-spanning railway bridge of its kind in the world. The steel structures were modeled extremely accurately with the model containing even the welding grooves in detailed form.

Category III Independent Check

Utilizing final detail design drawings and functional specifications, a Category III check involves the building and analysis of a structure model. By using an independent party to carry out a Category III check, clients can proceed with added confidence that the design is suitable for its intended purpose and is viable for manufacture. A Category III check will also advise clients of any modifications that the design may require. The scope of WSP’s Category III services includes the review of the design criteria (AIP) and the geotechnical report, independent analysis and design calculations, checking final drawings for clarity, completeness and design intent, and providing final certificates.

In the Lusail Development project in Qatar, WSP was assigned to undertake an independent Category III design check of the highway structures as well as two pedestrian bridges. The project involved a substantial amount of design check activities which had to be completed within a very tight time frame. Altogether over 100 structures were checked, consisting of two Cable Stayed Bridges, Post-Tensioned Bridges, Table Top Structures, underpasses, and trough sections.

Value Engineering

Value engineering translates into tangible benefits for our clients by capitalizing on WSP’s years of experience in design, construction management, and program management. Our recommendations rely on lessons learned and field-proven solutions that can be crafted to accommodate the unique situation at hand. Along with project experience comes knowledge of what a project should cost and how long it should take to build. Our staff is comfortable handling proposed alternatives and ensuring our clients that our recommended proposals can be built on time, within budget, and according to all requirements.

Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering

Aerodynamics and wind engineering are critically important in the design of flexible structures and are often governing factors in the design and operation of bridges. WSP conducts wind-loading studies, aerodynamic analysis of long-span bridges, wind-tunnel testing, and model preparation. In Finland, the 1,045m long cable-stayed tuft-form Raippaluoto Bridge was designed to resist heavy sea wind loads in a difficult sea foundation environment.