Zaha Hadid Architects unveils the first in a series of bridges in China
By Catrin Jones21 August 2023
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled the Jiangxi River Bridge as the first of several bridges on Chengdu’s West Line Road in China. The Chengdu West First Bridge, spanning 295 metres, crosses the Jiangxi River in China’s Sichuan province.
The bridge serves road, cycle, and pedestrian traffic, with a main span of 185 metres and additional spans of 55 metres on either side. This development is said to improve connectivity, making the West Line Road part of the Airport New Town ring road and cycle route.
The bridge has a symmetrical design with two primary steel arches rising from opposite sides of the road deck. These arches meet at the top, providing stability against wind forces. The bridge’s piers, abutments, and arches create a distinctive landmark within Chengdu’s transportation network.
The UK-based company used specialised software to analyse the digital model of the bridge, examining factors like material weight, loads, wind, and temperature. The company said that this ensures a sturdy foundation that surpasses standards for rare weather events.
With a focus on an effective height-to-span ratio of about 1:6, the arches of the bridge reach 30 metres in height. These arches find support from longitudinal box girders running alongside the road deck edges, countering sideways forces. These connections resist the arches’ outward push and notably ease the sideways pressure on the bridge’s base.
Concrete supports at both ends of the bridge integrate connections that join the road deck to the West Line Road’s surface. Midway piers, positioned beneath the arches’ starting points on each riverbank, provide a strong foundation without disturbing the riverbed.