Ferrovial La ingeniería civil como arte: creatividad e innovación

The Arch That Holds Up the Mountain

Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain

Arch of Los Tilos View full project

This arch traces the trajectory of a jump between two slopes, a clean, straight arch with no ornamentation other than the physics-driven pieces needed to support a 353-meter bridge. Below, 150 meters deep, a ravine called Los Tilos. It shares its name with one of the most iconic viaducts in Spain.

Ferrovial built the Los Tilos Arch as part of the construction on the Santa Cruz de la Palma and Puntagorda highway, which is on La Palma in the Canaries. The viaduct is supported by a single concrete arch with a 255-meter span, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The Los Tilos Arch juts out and supports itself on the mountain’s slopes, in apparent balance with everything around it. This triumph of human engineering soars over natural obstacles.

In addition to the amazing concrete arch, the bridge consists of two metal girders separated from each other by just over six meters. They’re on pillars that rise above the arch. On those pillars, the deck, which is also made of concrete, measures 12 meters wide and is of varying thickness.

These three parts – the arch, the deck, and the pillars – maintain a balance of forces and tensions, bringing order out of chaos. It is almost as if the bridge supports the mountain and keeps the ravine from collapsing, rather than the other way around.

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