Viuda de Sainz, a Basque company that forms part of the ICEBERG consortium, has designed and patented a model for a removable and reusable bridge that does not generate waste. It is a project designed by its R&D&I department to improve the environmental sustainability of the works carried out. The so-called Ecopuente (“Ecobridge”) has earned Viuda de Sainz international recognition with the Quality Innovation Award Euskadi 2020 in the Circular Economy category.
The Ecopuente project, which was designed and implemented in the extension works of the Basque motorway, known as the Variante Sur Metropolitana (“South Metropolitan Bypass”), has been awarded this recognition due to its conceptual design to minimise the environmental impact of the works. The most outstanding feature of the bridge is that it is reusable, which means that it can be removed and used somewhere else upon completion of the works that require this architectural element.
The bridge has been erected in a section that is part of Phase I of the Supersur, which will be completed in 2023, and aims to allow the circulation of off-road vehicles working on this project. It can withstand the weight of three thirty-tonne vehicles, but more importantly, it has been designed and built with environmental criteria. This work has enabled the company to reduce the acoustic, visual and CO2 emissions impact – 1,300 tonnes less – in this project, by significantly cutting down the route of trucks carrying excavation material.
Viuda de Sainz registered its removable bridge in the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office last October. It constitutes a solution that offers circularity to civil works, in which the classic solutions used to provide the same service are traditionally demolished and recycled (in a very small percentage). The bridge for road traffic is characterised by its modular design that is easy to transport, low cost, quick and easy to install, removable and reusable without generating any waste. Within the framework of the European ICEBERG project, Viuda de Sainz will be one of the companies that will participate providing its know-how, and collaborating in the development of demolition tools assisted by BIM and in the validation of all the solutions proposed, in one of the six case studies considered in ICEBERG and which is being led from the Basque Country.