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Case study: Formwork for Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway

A combined formwork strategy for the construction of a 126m-long link bridge along the upcoming Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, allowed contractor Salini to make use of existing RMD Kwikform elements within its fleet

Salini worked with RMD Kwikform to devise a combined formwork strategy for the construction of bridges along the under-construction Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, P311.
Salini worked with RMD Kwikform to devise a combined formwork strategy for the construction of bridges along the under-construction Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, P311.

Constructed by Salini on behalf of Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, a new 126m-long twin bridge forms an integral part of the under-construction highway that will soon link the UAE’s two largest Emirates.

The structure is the first of six bridges and an underpass that are to be included along a 28km-long stretch of the upcoming Abu Dhabi-Dubai link road, which is currently being constructed under the title ‘P311’. In combination, bridges will account for approximately 1km of the road, and each structure will employ RMD Kwikform’s formwork and shoring equipment.

Safety and efficiency were key components of Salini’s bid for the infrastructure contract. With this in mind, the contractor decided to utilise RMD Kwikform elements within its existing fleet, along with a combined equipment strategy devised by the formwork specialist.

Salini turned to RMD Kwikform to provide design and site-support services that would enable the simultaneous construction of twin bridges and abutments along P311. The strategy was to incorporate the Rapidshor and Alshor Plus shoring systems already being used on the project.

Mohamed Ozairy, Salini’s site manager at P311, says: “Having operated in the region for nearly eight years, when we first came to the UAE, we made the decision to purchase RMD Kwikform equipment, as we saw the competitive edge it would give us having its products on our own fleet.

“Throughout the tender stage [for P311], the main concern for our team was how to show the client, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, how we could deliver the project safely and cost effectively. From the client perspective, once we confirmed we were using RMD Kwikform equipment and support, its team had confidence in our strategy and solution,” Ozairy notes.

Salini is working on P311 as part of a joint venture with Tristar Engineering and Construction, which is responsible for the road building portion of the project. As such, the contractor’s priority when embarking on the first of the highway’s six bridge structures was to ensure timely delivery.

“The challenge for [the development] was its scale, as we did not have enough Rapidshor shoring available to complete the project,” Ozairy recalls. “Having worked with the RMD Kwikform design and site support teams numerous times, we asked them to come up with the most cost-effective design for the twin bridges. Recognising the need for more equipment, the RMD Kwikform designers devised a solution that combined its Alshor Plus aluminium system with Rapidshor.”

By combining the two systems, RMD Kwikform enabled Salini to take advantage of available stock within its existing fleet. By minimising the requirement for hired items, this strategy has served to reduce the overall cost of shoring for the transport link.

“In turn, the engineering team designed the formwork solutions for the large abutments, with RMD Kwikform providing the Alform aluminium beams and Superslim Soldiers needed for this section of the project,” Ozairy explains.

Commenting on the combined approach devised for P311, Abdul Rephy, sales engineer – formwork at RMD Kwikform, continues: “Having built a strong relationship with Salini, ever since [the contractor] entered the market in the Middle East, we have been able to work closely with the team to support them in winning new projects.

“Through early engagement with our design team throughout the tender and delivery process, we have been able to not only help them secure this project, but also help them take full advantage of the existing equipment they have purchased from us,” he adds.

“This ultimately helps them with the safe delivery of what is a very high-profile project. When it came to supporting the delivery of the twin bridges, our onsite assistance team took advantage of the trust we have developed across the Salin business. By working together as part of the team, we were able to have a really positive impact on the project, which really benefits everyone involved,” Rephy concludes.

Once completed, the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway will form a key link between the two Emirates. The P311 project has been designed to significantly reduce travel time and congestion, whilst contributing to the infrastructure programme of Abu Dhabi Plan 2030.

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