World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge

Article Id: WHEBN0001251268
Reproduction Date:

Title: General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lake Maracaibo, Riccardo Morandi, Road bridges, Zulia, Leopoldo Sucre Figarella
Collection: Bridges Completed in 1962, Buildings and Structures in Maracaibo, Cable-Stayed Bridges in Venezuela, Concrete Bridges, Lake Maracaibo, Road Bridges
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge

General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge
Carries vehicles
Crosses Lake Maracaibo
Locale Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela[1]
Design Cable-stayed bridge[1]
Material reinforced concrete[1]
Total length 8.7 kilometres (5.4 mi)[1]
Height 86.6 metres (284 ft)[1]
Longest span 235 metres (771 ft) x 5
Number of spans 135
Designer Riccardo Morandi
Construction begin 1958[1]
Construction end 1962[1]
Construction cost Bs. 350 million[2]

The General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge is located at the outlet of Lake Maracaibo, in western Venezuela. The bridge connects Maracaibo with much of the rest of the country. It is named after General Rafael Urdaneta, a Venezuelan hero in the War of Independence.


  • Design and construction 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6

Design and construction

Made of reinforced and prestressed concrete, the cable-stayed bridge spans 8,678 metres (5.392 mi) from shore to shore. The five main spans are each 235 metres (771 ft) long.[3] They are supported from 92-metre (302 ft) tall towers, and provide 46 metres (151 ft) of clearance to the water below.[4] The bridge carries only vehicles.

General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge panoramic

The competition to design the bridge started in 1957 and was won by Riccardo Morandi, an Italian civil engineer. Morandi's was the only concrete design out of twelve entries, and was expected to be less expensive to maintain, as well as providing valuable experience of prestressed concrete technology for Venezuela.[4] Construction was carried out by several companies, including Grün & Bilfinger, Julius Berger, Bauboag AG, Philipp Holzmann AG, Precomprimido C.A., Wayss & Freytag and K Ingeniería.

According to eminent bridge engineer Michel Virlogeux:[3]

"the Lake Maracaibo Bridge deserves to be part of the series of the most famous bridges over the world, with the Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge over the Firth of Forth, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Garabit Viaduct."


It was opened on 24 August 1962 by the then-president of Venezuela Romulo Betancourt.

In April 1964, parts of the bridge collapsed after a collision with the tanker Esso Maracaibo causing the deaths of seven people.

The construction of a second cable-stayed bridge has been proposed since 1982, with a series of studies made since 2000. The cost of the new bridge has been estimated at US$440m, to be largely privately financed via tolls.

See also


  • Dupré, Judith: "Bridges", Könemann, 1998, ISBN 3-8290-0408-7
  • Virlogeux, Michel: "Bridges with Multiple Cable Stayed Spans", Structural Engineering International, 1/2001


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Maracaibo Bridge at Structurae
  2. ^ Venezuela Tuya - Maracaibo, retrieved 6 August 2014 
  3. ^ a b Virlogeux, p.61
  4. ^ a b Dupré, p. 91

External links

  • General Rafael Urdaneta Website in spanish
  • Second Lake Maracaibo Bridge at Structurae
  • Info on Maracaibo including the bridge
  • Esso Maracaibo website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.