The British architecture and design firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, has introduced a groundbreaking bridge spanning the meandering Jianxi River in Sichuan, China. Named after Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, the Jiangxi River Bridge, also referred to as Chengdu West First Bridge, sets the stage for a series of bridges along Chengdu’s West Line Road.
With a length of 295 meters, the Chengdu West First Bridge elegantly extends over the Jiangxi River, a tributary of the Tuojiang River in Sichuan. Designed to accommodate vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, the bridge contributes to the transformation of West Line Road into a crucial element of the Airport New Town ring road and cycle path. This strategic urban development enhances connectivity around the Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, enhancing access to the western region.
Zaha Hadid Architects, led by Patrik Schumacher, secured the commission to construct the Chengdu West First Bridge through a competition held in 2019. The design incorporates two symmetrical steel arches that ascend from either side of the roadway deck, culminating at the apex. These arches merge harmoniously to ensure stability and resistance to wind forces. Rising 30 meters, the arches maintain a proportionate relationship of approximately 1:6 to achieve an ideal balance between height and span.
The arches are connected at the base through longitudinal box girders integrated along the road deck’s perimeter. This arrangement effectively counters horizontal pressure and rests upon piers on opposite riverbanks. The bridge’s components, including the deck and girders, are largely premanufactured. The precast concrete panels form the deck, while edge box girder sections with cable anchorages are joined through on-site welding. Bored piles and abutments utilize conventional in-situ reinforced concrete techniques.
The Chengdu West First Bridge represents a dynamic blend of aesthetics and engineering, illustrating Zaha Hadid Architects’ innovation in modern bridge design.