Alamillo Bridge in Seville, Spain

The Alamillo Bridge is a structure in Seville, Andalucia (Spain), which spans the Canal de Alfonso XIII, allowing access to La Cartuja, a peninsula between the canal and the Guadalquivir River. The bridge was constructed as part of infrastructure improvements for Expo 92, which was held on large banana farms on the island. Construction of the bridge began in 1989 and was completed in 1992 from a design by Santiago Calatrava.

The bridge is of the cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge type and consists of a single pylon, counterbalancing a 200 m span with thirteen lengths of cables. The original intent was to build two symmetrical bridges on either side of the island, but in the end, the Alamillo’s singular design has proved most striking.

With no economic constraints on construction, the goal was to create a bridge of symbolic importance. This bridge represented the soaring aspirations of the city of Seville in preparation for Expo ’92, and is visible from the top of La Giralda, the former minaret which is the sentimental roof of the city, linking Seville’s past and present. Similar to the Brooklyn Bridge, there is an elevated walkway for pedestrians. In addition to the elevated walkway, the Alamillo Bridge features a lookout at the top of the mast, accessible by an enclosed stairway.

The Puente del Alamillo is the only bridge that is balanced solely through added weights not requiring any type of back anchorage. There are 54 steel piles under the bridge, acting passively under the mast. Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge in Redding, California (2004), the Mesoghion Avenue Footbridge in Athens and Chords Bridge in Jerusalem are similar in design to the Alamillo Bridge.

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