Abdoun Bridge a blend of utility and style

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It might not be hyperbole to say that most young people might not recognize the face of Amman pre-Abdoun Bridge, as the bridge has altered the dynamism of Amman’s urban landscape since its construction. It is not only aesthetically and technically striking amid its surroundings but it has also given its setting a certain timelessness.اضافة اعلان

The bridge hangs over Wadi Abdoun and links Abdoun Circle to the 4th Circle and Zahran Street. It is the only cable-stayed bridge in the country, with its construction commencing on December 14, 2002 and completing on December 14, 2006. 

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The bridge is made up of three Y-shaped towers that form two 134-meter-long main spans and is a total length of 417m in construction. It slithers down an S-curve deck that connects to various roadways. It stands 45m over the valley’s lowest point and it cost JD10 to JD15 million to build. Self-adhering waterproofing membranes cover 5,000sq.m of the bridge, while torch applied bituminous waterproofing membranes cover 9,500sq.m.

This engineering masterpiece was designed by Seshadri Srinivasan from Dar Al-Handasah Consultants — Hong Kong Branch and was built by the contractors, Larsen & Tubro. Dar Al-Hong Kong received a commendation award from the Institution of Structural Engineers in 2007. 

(Photos: Shutterstock/ Unsplash/ Wikipedia)

In 2010, the bridge was renamed Kamal Shair Bridge in honor of Dar Al-Handasah Consultant’s founder Kamal Shair, after his children made a significant contribution of $750,000 to the bridge’s maintenance. Their decision stemmed from a desire to honor their father’s life and achievements as an engineer and the founder of the largest Arab engineering consultancy firm, which is also listed among the top 20 engineering consulting firms in the world, with 45 offices in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, and America.

The bridge’s construction came in response to citizens’ pleas for assistance in getting across the city amid suffocating traffic. It was also crucial for diplomatic missions and embassy employees to get to the upper side of Abdoun easily, where most embassies are located.  

Little known to the public, the bridge’s design allows a degree of inclination to commensurate with the speed of vehicles traveling on it. It was designed to keep drivers at a relatively constant altitude instead of zigzagging through the hillsides of Amman. Unlike the majority of such bridges around the world, there is no toll for every time you cross it. 

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The bridge blends in seamlessly with the surrounding scenery and community, and it is particularly magnificent at night when it is illuminated. Passing over it with the wind sweeping over your face brings a sense of freedom and serenity.
This landmark is lit sporadically for special occasions. The General Amman Municipality lights it blue for World Cancer Day, every February 4 and orange for the International Day of Peace, every September 21. It was lit most wonderfully for Jordan’s centenary celebration.

(Photos: Shutterstock/ Unsplash/ Wikipedia)

The bridge is a reflection of those who pass by it every day. It witnesses Jordanians’ hopes and dreams. 

The image of the bridge has become so ingrained in Jordanians’ minds that a novel has been written about it. Qasem Tawfeeq’s “Jeser Abdoun” explores Amman’s growth and metamorphosis while staying an unchangeable constant. 

Abdoun Bridge’s symbolism appears in the book as an extended horizon in which dreams are scattered. According to the author, his choice isn’t related to the architecture of the bridge but was a metaphor about how we shape our buildings and afterwards they shape us.

Though the bridge has been through the thick of it all, it is without a doubt an intense, valid, and powerful design where science and art broke even. Where our past, present, and future mingle together every single day while we are heading to work.

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