16 June 2023


Dettagli del progetto



Realizzazione a progetto


ponte di Santa Lucia a Quistello (Mantova)


primavera 2021

Carpenteria metallica

Realizzazione a progetto

ponte di Santa Lucia a Quistello (mantova)

primavera 2021

The construction of Corten metal framing structures

VEXA Metal Framing Department accomplishes projects of every weight and dimension, as for example the construction of Corten bridges. The pictures in this article show a heavy metal framing infrastructure. Among the various work orders completed by VEXA over the years, our company has had the chance to build steel works which belong to every kind of metal framing, heavy, light and special.

In the field of infrastructure our personnel have made also other typologies of steel works, like bridges and foot bridgesSome of them involved special opening mechanisms, as in the case of Ponte Catena in Mantova. Using metal framing techniques for the construction of bridges has considerable advantages. Because of the features of support structures in metal framing, one can for example build bridges with very long spans.

In the case of the construction of Corten bridges, it is important to know well the characteristics of the material. In the last few years, it has become quite a trend to use Corten, both for projects of small carpentry and for big dimensions works, just as in this case. One of the reasons of this trend lies in the fact that Corten – also known as COR-TEN – looks the same over time. This material does not need special finishings like for example painting or galvanising. Finishings that are instead very common in works that are made in other kinds of steel.

The installation of a Corten bridge

There are several reasons for which it can be good to install a Corten bridge. Some of them regard the purpose, other the place. Since it is an actual steel bridge, a Corten bridge has a functional support structure, that is sturdy but also elegant and capable of bearing heavy loads. These pictures portray Ponte Santa Lucia, which is located in Quistello, in the province of Mantova. This bridge makes it possible to cross Canale Sabbioncello, connecting Santa Lucia di Quistello to Quincentole. This is an important connection for people who live in the area and in the surroundings, since it allows to reach the closest hospital.

The deck is 26.32 m long, 7.7 m high and, on the whole, the structure reaches the weight of 17,500 kg. The bridge structure is made of beams, coupled with bolted joint coverings and a collaborating reinforced-concrete floor slab. Welded together at our workshop, the beams are also made of Corten plates. The construction of Corten bridges requires good coordination capacities with other firms on the site, but also the preparation of the steps that are necessary for an excellent installation. This is why we chose bolting over welding. As a matter of fact, in order to then be shipped and moved, the Corten bridge had to leave VEXA workshops subdivided into single components. Welding it would have made that impossible, while bolting made the whole process more agile.

The construction of a Corten bridge

Seen the criteria above, the construction process of a Corten bridge requires the steps of designing, making and installing.

The development of the Corten bridge project

The development of the drawings started from the project received from the purchaser. After a first briefing with our customer, VEXA Technical Department conducted the survey of the piers and of the reinforced-concrete bearings. We then also developed the construction drawings and the workshop drawings (“normalini”, assemblies, lists and assembly tables). As for every metal framing work order, VEXA uses Tekla Structures software. Our company is enabled of two licenses, since this programme allows to proceed more rapidly in the drawing and drawing conversion steps. But work speed is not the only advantage in using this software. With Tekla Structures, VEXA can better satisfy the customer’s needs also for what concerns the mistake reduction. This is possible because the software makes it easier and more immediate to verify, also in 3D view, whether or not there are potential interferences.

The construction of the Corten bridge

As mentioned above, the construction of Corten bridges develops from the elements that make the main structure, which means the beams. Since there was no specific sequence to respect, we made the different components at the same time. After carefully considering the site requirements, we decided that there was no need to run a preassembly test at the workshop. As it often happens during the making of metal works for constructions and infrastructure, it was essential to be aware of the work timing, given that time itself was quite tight. Employing from 2 to 3 people, it only took VEXA 2 weeks to complete the structure.

The installation of the Corten bridge

As for every infrastructure, the construction of Corten bridges entails being extremely careful with the installation phase. Installing a bridge also means to temporarily stop a connection, then causing traffic inconveniences. VEXA aimed at reducing the period of traffic interruption, by employing 4 people in the installation step, which itself only lasted 2 weeks. In every work, the final phase represents an exciting moment for our company and we care that it is carried out with great precision and with a special eye for detail.

Applying heavy metal framing techniques to infrastructure is only an example of how VEXA implements its working metals skills. We also work with those construction sites and firms that need special equipment, not to mention that we also provide services to steelworks. VEXA offers consultancy and quotations to make customised metal structures, designed according to the needs of every different customer: info@vexasrl.it.