American Society of Civil Engineers

Replacement of Pontesei Bridge, Italy

by Armando Mammino, A.M.ASCE, (Principal and Owner, S.I.GE.S. s.a.s., Via Povegliano, 10, 31050 Camal di Povegliano, Treviso, Italy. E-mail: and Fulvio Tonon, (corresponding author), A.M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Univ. of Utah, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, 135 South 1460 East, Room 719, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 permanent address, Vicolo S. Antonino A, 3, 31100 Treviso, Italy. E-mail:

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 5, September/October 2004, pp. 480-486, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Pontesei Dam is a major concrete dam built after World War II across the canyon of Ma Creek (Valle di Zoldo) in the Italian Eastern Alps. Just upstream from the dam, a gully discharges water from steep mountains. The only road serving the dam and the entire valley upstream of the dam runs along the mountainside and crosses the gully. In 1959, an exceptionally rainy season caused a flood, which destroyed the bridge. A temporary Bailey bridge was subsequently built by the army, but in 1990 it was decided to design a new bridge. The main challenges posed to the designer included building the new deck and the abutments underneath the Bailey bridge without disrupting traffic, hoisting the deck just to the bottom of the Bailey bridge, and finally substituting the new deck for the Bailey bridge in one day. Other problems included the instability of the rock mass at the abutments and the gravitative convergence of the two sides of the gully. This paper describes the design, construction, and testing of the bridge replacement and the bridge abutments.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Bridge abutments
Bridge decks
Bridge maintenance
Dam foundations
Rock structures