Inner Harbor Bridge


Photo: Jules Gassot

This bridge was hit by every thinkable mishap.

As in all specialist disciplines, things don’t always go as planned in the world of engineering. Construction of the “Inner Harbor Bridge” was plagued with problems early on and it did not open until 2016, after a three-year delay.

The Long-awaited Bridge

First, the load-bearing bridge piles were initially cast 60 cm too high and had to be torn down again. Then, the 250-ton steel bridge platforms were constructed incorrectly by a Spanish supplier. And the concrete had to be torn out again when the bridge span began cracking. Meanwhile, the cable system for pulling the bridge platforms was not strong enough and had to be replaced.

In addition to the faulty components, the engineers were also challenged in other areas: the bridge platforms did not align properly when closing. This turned out to be due to temperature differences between the top and underside of the bridge spans causing the platforms to bend and skew more than expected.

Finally, the mechanical measuring system, which ensures that the bridge opens and closes correctly, did not work according to the calculations.

The solution was to install fixed stop blocks, which the bridge platforms are now maneuvered onto via four wedges. The four wedges ensure that the stop process takes place in a smooth movement rather than in jolts.


City Centre


Københavns Kommune


Studio Bednarski Limited
DFA | Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes PARIS WIEN


Flint & Neill Limited
Hardesty & Hanover International LLC
WTM Engineers International


E. Pihl & Søn A/S