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Bridging hope: Daewoo E&C wins large-scale bridge projects in India, Africa

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : May 9, 2024 - 18:45

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Daewoo Engineering and Construction has been showcasing its engineering prowess not only domestically but also internationally, winning a series of large-scale bridge construction projects.

On home soil, Daewoo E&C constructed the Dongjak Bridge, the first combined railway and roadway bridge in South Korea in 1984. Since then, they have successfully completed numerous bridges, including the Gwangan Bridge, Cheonsa Bridge, and the Geoga Bridge, which features the country’s first underwater tunnel, connecting Busan and Geoje.

One notable technique employed by Daewoo E&C in the construction of the Geoga Bridge is the underwater tunnel construction method. This method involves floating pre-built concrete box structures on water using buoyancy, transporting them to the installation site, submerging them, and then using differential water pressure to join the structures.

The Kazungula Bridge connects Zambia and Botswana across the Zambezi River in south-central Africa. (Daewoo E&C) The Kazungula Bridge connects Zambia and Botswana across the Zambezi River in south-central Africa. (Daewoo E&C)

Venturing beyond Korea, Daewoo E&C took on the monumental task of constructing the Kazungula Bridge over the Zambezi River, situated on the border between Zambia and Botswana in central southern Africa. The company secured the deal in 2014 and completed it in 2020, marking its first solo project for an extra-dosed bridge outside its home country.

Spanning 923 meters in length with a width of 18.5 meters, the bridge includes a single railway line alongside the roadway to mitigate vibrations caused by both vehicular and rail traffic.

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in India (Daewoo E&C) The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in India (Daewoo E&C)

Another notable project undertaken by Daewoo E&C is the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in India, connecting Mumbai city with Navi Mumbai, two neighboring cities separated by Thane Creek, a bay in the region.

This bridge was constructed to address the population density in Mumbai, India's major economic hub. Mumbai had encountered challenges in its city development plan due to inadequate connectivity with Navi Mumbai, a city designed to alleviate Mumbai's dense population.

Partnering with Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates in 2018, Daewoo E&C completed the MTHL project in January of this year, ensuring safety throughout the 69-month construction period.

With a total length of 21.8 kilometers, including a main bridge spanning 7.8 kilometers, Daewoo E&C managed the design, procurement, construction and quality control of the project. In particular, the company prioritized environmental conservation by adhering to stringent standards and employing the "precast segment method" to minimize disruption to mangrove forests and marine ecosystems.

The construction site of the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project in India (Daewoo E&C) The construction site of the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project in India (Daewoo E&C)

In February 2016, Daewoo E&C secured another significant endeavor: the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project. This project involves constructing a bridge across the Ganges River, a vital waterway for over 1.3 billion Indians. The project's total value amounted to $480 million, with Daewoo E&C holding a 50 percent stake.

Competing fiercely against two Chinese firms, Daewoo E&C formed a joint venture with Larsen & Toubro Ltd., India's leading construction company, to leverage the Indian company’s extensive experience including a skilled workforce, equipment and local resources.

By designing the main bridge with a span height of 150 meters, surpassing India's initial requirements, Daewoo E&C not only secured the deal but also minimized the demand for resources for foundations and pillars while optimizing the deck structure.

The Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project aims to connect the Patna region of Bihar, India, by spanning the Ganges River and linking to the Bidupur area. With a total length of 19.7 kilometers, the project includes a main bridge featuring a dual six-lane carriageway, with a primary span of 150 meters supported by 65 towers. The construction is expected to be completed by 2025.

"Upon completion in 2025, this bridge will enhance connectivity between the northern and southern parts of Bihar, divided by the Ganges River, and improve connectivity with neighboring countries," a Daewoo E&C official said. "It is expected to promote geographic integration, as well as significantly contribute to the balanced socioeconomic development."

Earlier in 2022, Daewoo E&C unveiled a new vision called "Your Dream, Our Space." Under this new slogan, the company pledged to create valuable environments and spaces beyond construction to enhance the quality of life for all humanity.

At the time, Baek Jeong-wan, CEO of Daewoo E&C, expressed, "We will embrace infinite possibilities not only in construction but also in new fields, striving to realize the dreams of our customers."