French firm VINCI Construction has completed the construction of the 4.6km Atlantic Bridge in the Colón province of Panama.

Located 3km from the Gatun and Agua Clara locks, it is one of three bridges currently placed over the Panama Canal and links the North American and South American continents.

The Atlantic Bridge will be used irrespective of whether the canal locks are in operation or not.

Due to the adversity of the Panamanian tropical climate on the Atlantic side, the Panama Canal Authority opted to build the bridge entirely from reinforced concrete over a metal structure.

The central span of the bridge comprises 530m of concrete deck situated 75m above sea level. The two towers of the bridge stand at over 210m high.

Four form travellers weighing 240 tonnes each were used to build the central span to avoid delays caused by container ships transits.

The bridge was unveiled by Panama President Laurentino Cortizo and Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano on Friday.

VINCI said it relied heavily on the expertise of its subsidiaries. Among them, VINCI Construction was responsible for the construction of the bridge, while subsidiary Rodio Swissboring Panamá worked on the foundations. The installation of the stays was carried out by Freyssinet.

Headquartered in Rueil-Malmaison, in the western suburbs of Paris, VINCI is a concessions and contracting company founded in 1899. It operates in 100 countries, employing over 210,000 people.

The company specialises in designing, financing, building and operating infrastructure and facilities.

VINCI Construction, a subsidiary of the VINCI group, concentrates on the finance, design, construction and maintenance of a structure. It employs 70,000 people across its 700 companies.