Vekarasalmi bridge, Sulkava
Bridge of the Year 2020 (RIL)
RIL's award for Bridge of the Year 2020 was awarded to Vekaransalmi Bridge. The bridge, which was completed in 2019 in Vekaransalmi, Saimaa, Sulkava, South Savo, is a continuous truss bridge of steel type. With a total length of 639.3 meters, the bridge is the fifth longest bridge in Finland.
The bridge will significantly improve traffic fluidity across the strait as it replaces the loess link introduced in 1995. Average vehicle traffic across the strait has been about 800 vehicles per day.
The project had to take into account a number of environmental boundary conditions. The bridge is located in the Natura area and the Saimaa herring nesting area. Partly for this reason, the foundation method of the bridge was determined by a drill pile, in order to avoid blasting work that interfered with the silt. The deep waterway route at the bridge site had to be kept open for the entire waterborne season, despite the construction work.
Infratyömaa of the Year 2018 (Construction Magazine)
The Vekaransalmi Bridge was awarded the 2018 Infrared Site of the Year in the competition “Construction Site of the Year”, organized by the Finnish Construction magazine.
Vekaransalmi is part of the Saimaa deep waterway, with a depth of 4.2m at the strait.
The share of water transport in Vekaransalmi is about 1000 vessels per year, and there are almost the same number of barges. The traffic point is located in the Natura area of Pihlajavesi.
Ponvia Oy was responsible for the design of the bridge superstructure.