Puente Laguna Garzon

The new design features two ramps and a central rotunda for cars and pedestrians. (Source: Rafael Vinoly Architects)

The proposed bridge over the Laguna Garzon separating the Uruguay coastal departments of Maldonado and Rocha is a few steps closer to reality now that the latest iteration addresses government-raised elevation concerns.

Six months ago the project architects proposed a flexible, floating bridge which could be reconfigured into different shapes, but local officials voiced concerns over extreme low tide scenarios which could take the “floating” out of “flexible, floating bridge.”

In two letters obtained by El Pais, the architect and engineer assure the Ministry of Housing, Land & Environment the revised bridge will be sturdier, simpler and in keeping with the “tourism and ecological profile of this sensitive area of the Laguna Garzon.”

Gone are the 22 floating parts of the previous proposal, and in their place will rise 16 round concrete pillars spaced 65 feet apart supporting two straight ramp sections and a central rotunda with two lanes of traffic sandwiched between two pedestrian walkways.

A public hearing on the new proposal is scheduled for tomorrow; however, there doesn’t appear to be much opposition from DINAMA. The head of that environmental agency is already on record saying the new design minimizes the impact on the Laguna Garzon because, among other things, it has fewer columns than a more conventional structure. (Full Story in Spanish)

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