Laguna Garzon Bridge

Laguna Garzon Bridge

Rafael Viñoly Architects PC
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Rafael Viñoly Architects PC

Laguna Garzon Bridge

Rafael Viñoly Architects PC en tant que Architectes.

The long-awaited Laguna Garzon Bridge is set up After six years of public hearings and agreements, the bridge that connects Rocha and Maldonado counties is a reality today. Eduardo Costantini, Las Garzas developer, invested around U$D 10 million in its construction. It is an iconic architectural piece designed by Rafael Viñoly.

Las Garzas -Eduardo Costantini’s venture in Uruguay-, is celebrating Laguna Garzon Bridge set-up together with official authorities. This marks a cornerstone in the economic growth and development of Uruguay. Consultatio/Las Garzas was a key player in consolidating project: around U$D 10 million were invested, 80% of the total cost.

“The joint effort of the National State and Consultatio made the building of the bridge possible. All legal and environmental requirements were observed and the participation of architect Rafael Viñoly greatly benefited the project”, states Eduardo Costantini. “It is an iconic architectural piece that will be a catalytic factor in driving the development of Rocha’s coastline, especially protected to preserve direct contact with nature. Just 35% of the stretch between the two lagoons can be developed and 50% must be devoted to green areas”, Costantini points out.

The Laguna Garzon Bridge will be an essential connection between Rocha and Maldonado counties and will improve communication in this area. It was designed by the renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly as a “lagoon inside a lagoon” and is at the same time an observatory, tourist and fishing spot.

The project is round-shaped with a concrete structure built on piles. There is a sector for car traffic (it is estimated that about 1000 vehicles per day will be crossing it) and one for pedestrians with an external walkway and an internal covered one. From the environmental point of view, the project presented by Vignoly was approved not only because of its unique design, but also because it fits the high environmental standards in Rocha.

LAGUNA GARZON BRIDGE In September 2014, construction company Saceem started building the bridge that today replaces the former raft crossing. It was completed after 12 months.

Among the challenges, it is worth pointing out:  Project with a high degree of geometrical complexity.  Constructive procedure and use of high technology to meet deadlines.  Complex post-stressed system which required engineering and the use of imported equipment from Europe to carry out this project.  Design of a wide variety of building processes and execution of multiple elements for their implementation.  Transportation and mounting of 70- ton pieces.

Significant figures Concrete: 3.500 m3 Formed steel: 450 tons Post tension cables: 40.000 m

BACKGROUND The initiative for the construction of this bridge was born on December 17, 2008 with an agreement between MTOP and Las Garzas Blancas S.A. (Jaswik S.A), which authorized construction of the bridge funded by the private company –under the supervision of Dirección Nacional de Vialidad- and it was agreed that it would be then donated to the Uruguayan State.

Environmental groups were against construction of the bridge, and protested in different opportunities. Finally, in 2012 the government submitted a report in which it was stated that "Construction of the bridge does not pose a threat to environmental sustainability in the area, as there are coordinated regulations in each department on the use of the soil and ecosystems protection measures are established. These regulations were approved by Dirección Nacional de Medio Ambiente".

The document explains that the bridge "connects an area already accessible with an important development such as Maldonado, with a less accessible territory and with greater development potential, as the adjacent stretch in Rocha department ". Regarding the Rocha stretch more susceptible to changes, "the departmental government has established limits through Plan Local Lagunas Costeras, which has also been approved by DINAMA, DINOT and MVOTMA".

ABOUT LAS GARZAS Las Garzas is a private neighborhood along the Rocha coaastline, twenty minutes away José Ignacio. The venture, developed by Eduardo Costantini, intends to copy its environmental identity, its natural terraces facing the sea and its two kilometers of beaches.

Among the novelties for the 2016 season, the exclusive restaurant Las Garzas will be managed by the renowned chef Camote Langer. His gastronomic track-record includes working with Francis Mallmann. Besides, he was part of the French restaurant Chez Emile, in the city of Toulouse, France. In Uruguay, together with Martín Pittaluga, he worked in Eufrasio and El Galpón de José Ignacio. Among his latest gastronomic ventures, it is worth mentioning restó Dominga in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires, and in 2014, Farang, a restaurant with a new eating concept.

The project in figures:  240 has. of which 50% is destined to green areas.  474 sites between 2.000 m² and 5.000 m².  Ocean view in most of the sites  2 km of virgin sandy beaches.  Country landscape with gullies and natural terraces sloping down to the sea.  Beach House facing the sea.  Amenities and facilities: beach club, swimming-pool for adults and children, sauna, games room, gym, tennis courts, football pitch.  Open restaurant to the community by Camote.  20 minutes away from José Ignacio and 50 minutes away from Punta del Este.

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