Pont Schuman features a unique pair of unbraced inclined arches that form a continuous smooth profile through both main spans passing beneath the deck at the centre pier.


​In 2010, COWI won the design competition for a new 180 metre long highway bridge across the River Saône in Lyon, within a UNESCO World Heritage site. The design was developed with Explorations Architecture and Agibat Consulting Engineers who are responsible for the design of the piers and foundations. The superstructure is a tied arch with a reinforced concrete deck and cantilevered pedestrian walkways. Each steel arch incorporates a unique twisted arch cross section which, at the springing points, is welded to the longitudinal girder. Overall the deck is up to 30 metres wide with the footways varying between 4-6 metres in width with seating areas provided for pedestrians to enjoy views of the World Heritage site.


Geometrical constraints, which severely limited the available construction depth above the navigation channel, were a particular challenge for the design. The unique twisted configuration of the arch plates resulted in the warping of steel plates and required development of the design methodology from first principles.


Assembled off site, the bridge was transported down the river Saône by barge, before being jack lifted and rotate 90 degrees into position.


You can watch a timelapse of the bridge being moved into place here


The bridge won the "Highway or Railway Bridge Structures" category of The 2015 Structural Awards.








The transformation of the Olympic stadium resulted in a multi-purpose venue with flexible retractable seating to allow it to host concerts, athletics and football matches, without compromising the spectators' experience. As part of the transformation works, the original fabric membrane roof was dismantled and replaced with a new roof spanning almost three times as far, and covering an area twice as large as the original.


The new roof consists of a primary cable net structure supporting articulated steel trusses which create the upper roof profile. The new roof represents a substantial increase in loading, which has required significant strengthening works to be carried out to the existing compression truss and V-columns which support it, in parallel with the dismantling and construction works. The gravity-stressed roof relies on the tension stiffness of the underlying cable-net for its stability resulting in a highly non-linear structure, which required a complex large-displacement and fully staged analytical approach.


The construction contract for the legacy transformation of the Olympic Stadium was awarded to Balfour Beatty Construction Services in 2013 who appointed COWI to provide comprehensive erection engineering services and ad-hoc advice during their tender, and later throughout the detailed design and construction. The project was carried out on a shortened and very tight programme and was re-opened in time for the Diamond League Athletics event in July 2015.


COWI is a leading civil, structural and geotechnical engineering consultancy with extensive knowledge and experience in bridge, tunnel, marine and specialist infrastructure. Our passion and expertise enables us to deliver technically excellent, value engineered solutions.


COWI employs around 6,200 employees working across a broad range of engineering and development disciplines from 90 offices worldwide.



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