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Doka’s formwork holds up River Suir Bridge  

3 August 2009

Austrian formwork specialist Doka is providing their new self-climbing formwork system to the contracting consortium in charge of the construction of the biggest cable-stayed bridge in Ireland.  

The River Suir Bridge project is a milestone under the Government’s investment programme Transport 21 and a key element of the N25 Waterford City Bypass national road project. The 465m bridge will be held by two 100m tall pylons with a main span of 230m that will cross the river in a single leap. Construction commenced in early May of this year.

This is the first time that automatic climbing formwork is being used in Ireland. The contracting consortium, consisting of Dragados, NTR and Royal BAM, is impressed by the self-climbing technology. ‘Being able to jump the formwork units so quickly and safely, and set up and strike the formwork in such a straightforward way, really helps work to move ahead rapidly’, says contracors’ supervisor Raphael Torres. In total, 20 SKE 50 automatic climbers, 300 sq. m. of large-area formwork Top 50 and two GCS climbing units for each pylon leg are in use. Doka’s form-ply can be exactly adapted to the complex cross-section and can be re-used several times, thereby minimising the commissioning quantities.

Doka are furthermore providing intensive support and assistance to the site crew, as the consortium has not had any previous experience with self-climbing formwork. ‘The support we’ve had from the Doka Formwok Experts, both in the planning phase and while carrying out the works, has been a crucial factor in helping us to meet the ambitious timetable and saved a lot of time and expense’, notes Mr. Torres, adding that the extensive on-site service has enabled the site crew to form, reinforce and pour the pylon in a weekly cycle. 

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