madeira´s airport

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Madeira´s Airport

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Post on 20-Jun-2015

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By Alexandre Raposo

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  • 1. The Airports runway expansion is one of the largestand most complex civil engineering worksperformed in Europe in the last decades. The Madeira island Airport is located on the Southborder of the island in a place named SantaCatarina. The need to increase the existent runway and thelack of suitable plane lands in the island, led to thedecision of constructing a large prestressed concretestructure, that extends the runway from about 1800m to a total length of 2781 m.

2. The structure for extension of the Madeira islandairport is a bridge of unusual proportions that had tobe designed to withstand the loads of largecommercial airplanes. This new runway extension was built over the ocean.Instead of using landfill to construct the extension,the runway sits on 180 columns. 3. The adopted structural design consisted in a seriesof frames aligned perpendicularly to the runwayaxis, with 32 meter long spans between them, andwhich support a bi-directional prestressed concreteslab with variable thickness. 4. The direct foundations have an octagonal shape anda deployment area of nearly 100 m2. The reinforced concrete indirect foundations areconnected by octagonal blocks supported by groupsof 8 moulded piles with a 1.5m diameter and lengthswhich can reach as much as 62m. The runway is located at a height of 58 m above thesea level. 5. After it was completed, the Madeira Runwayextension won the Outstanding Structures Award bythe International Association of Bridge andStructural Engineering. 6. The new runway is widely celebrated as a greatfeat in architecture due to its sheer size and theamount of labor it took to erect it. The total construction costs for the extensionamounted to more than 500 million Euros, asmall price to pay considering pilots andpassengers can now land without fear. 7. The new airport runway can accommodate allkinds of commercial and private aircraft andmore than three million passengers per year. 8. Alexandre Raposo