Atkins has been appointed to provide the preliminary studies and design work for several new and existing bridge structures, as part of a widening programme on the Køge Bay motorway in Denmark.

The work to expand the motorway from six to eight lanes will require the construction of seven new bridges, extension of nine existing bridges and re-insulation of three bridges.

The 8km-long section of motorway, which sees more than 100,000 vehicles pass through every day will remain operational whilst the work is taking place, with traffic running parallel to the extended lanes. Atkins will work closely with the Danish road directorate and other consultants working on the extension to ensure that disruption to traffic is kept to a minimum.

“This is a highly complicated assignment due to the large number of bridges, and the need to keep traffic flowing throughout the construction process. With 100,000 vehicles using the motorway every day this will require expert project management to ensure the work proceeds as smoothly and as safely as possible so that motorists are not unduly inconvenienced,” says Atkins’ market director Martin Svenning Nielsen.

The first phase of the project will see the construction of a new bridge across Karlstrup Marsh, located next to the existing motorway. The bridge will be founded on piles due to the soft subsoil and to protect the natural environment of the area. The bridge’s construction will not interfere with existing motorway traffic and it will also be used as a temporary road during the construction work. Atkins will begin design work on the project immediately.

Martin Svenning Nielsen and his team of bridge experts from the former Gimsing & Madsen consultancy – acquired by Atkins last year – have consulted on a number of motorway structures in Jutland, Denmark, and served as client advisors for the construction of Denmark’s longest, tallest valley bridge over Funder Valley Silkeborg.

In addition to this, Atkins is working on bridge engineering projects around the world, including structural assessment and design work on around 70 structures as part of a motorway widening programme on one of the UK’s busiest orbital roads, the M25. Structural design included pier strengthening on multiple bridges and viaduct widening, and again all construction was undertaken while the structure remained open to traffic.

Other Atkins bridge projects worldwide have included construction management, inspection, and materials testing services for the Bronco Arch Bridge replacement project on the South Platte River in Colorado, US, and planning and design of the 4th Street Bridge in Colorado, US, carrying highway traffic across the Arkansas River and 28 sets of rail tracks.