Designed by Antonio da Ponte and completed after three years in 1591, the Rialto Bridge is one of the most well-known bridges in the world and is certainly the most famous bridge in Venice (Italy). It rests on two ramps, is 48 meters long with single 22-meter span arch made of stones. On either side of the central portico, the covered ramps carry rows of shops. During the building of the bridge, many believed the project was too audacious from the engineering point of view, yet the bridge is still standing and has become one of the architectural icons of the city of Venice.
The restoration project was based on the awareness of the Bridge’s strong historical, architectural, and constructional heritage as a landmark of the city of Venice. For above these reasons, the design took into consideration three main topics: the general architectural design, the preservation of the materials, and the structural strengthening. Sika was involved in the latter in 2015.
The final goals were to pursue the restoration, maintenance, and overall refurbishment of the Rialto Bridge, preserving the architectural nature of the original materials and applying non-invasive but efficient structural solutions as well as to stop the decay of its structure and materials.
Sika provided solutions with FRP structural strengthening system SikaWrap® to reinforce the stone cantilevers and to increase the safety of the balustrade, blocking further rotations. SikaWrap®-300 C, unidirectional carbon fiber fabric, impregnated with Sikadur®-330 epoxy resin was used.
An ending anchorage with carbon fiber rope SikaWrap® FX-50 C impregnated with Sikadur®-52 Injection epoxy resin was installed on both ends of each fabric strip. The connector was anchored in stone with Sika AnchorFix®-3+ epoxy resin. The entire strengthening solution is absolutely non-invasive and invisible as it is hidden under the deck.
A special procedure developed by Sika was used for the application of SikaWrap® FX-50 C connectors. This procedure allows the application of the connectors “all-at-once”. At first holes in the stone were drilled and cleaned thoroughly with compressed air and round brush, then the holes were partially filled with Sika AnchorFix®-3+ from the bottom up.
SikaWrap® FX-50 C
Ponte di Rialto Società Consortile a.r.l.,
Via Bottenigo 147/G, 30175 Marghera (VE)
Setten Genesio S.p.A., Via Venezia 18, 31046 Oderzo (TV)
LARES S.r.l., Santa Croce 521, 30135 Venezia (VE)