The second bridge across the Panama Canal

Photo: COWI
Panama's Centennial Bridge is the second bridge to cross the Canal.
Panama's Centennial Bridge is the second bridge across the Panama Canal, and carries a four-lane highway.

The bridge has a total length of 1052 metres and includes a major cable-stayed bridge with a main span of 420 metres and side spans of 200 metres.

Approach bridges and deck

The approach bridges have spans varying between 46 and 66 metres. The vertical clearance is approximately 80 metres in order to allow for unhindered access for the significant ship traffic using the Canal and cranes working for the Canal Authorities.
The bridge deck is a single cell concrete box girder with a total width of 34.1 metres and a height of 4.5 metres. The girder is monolithic with the two central concrete towers and the bridge having a single cable plane.

Project management

COWI acted as the project manager on behalf of the client, the Ministry of Public Works, Panama. This involved tasks such as:

  • Management of the construction contract
  • Monitoring of the design activities
  • Coordination between the designer, the design reviewer and the contractor

The project was a fast-track project with design, design review and construction going on simultaneously. Hence the
project management was a very key position.

Design review

COWI carried out the independent review of the detailed design involving tasks such as:

  • Review of technical specifications
  • Review of geotechnical investigations
  • Review of wind tunnel test results
  • Review of detailed design drawings

COWI carried out an independent analysis of the entire bridge as part of the design review.

Site inspection

COWI carried out the construction inspection involving tasks such as:

  • Review of the contractor's quality assurance procedures
  • Review of contractor's method statements and construction engineering
  • Review of construction schedule and monitoring of the works

LAST UPDATED: 31.03.2017