• The Netherlands’ first suspension bridge, spanning the Rhine canal 10m above the water. • Design respects the unique ecological habitat of the area.
The Netherlands’ first suspension bridge carries cyclists and pedestrians over the Amsterdam Rhine canal to the new suburb of IJburg. Spanning the canal 10m above the water, the bridge allows enough clearance to give commercial boats unrestricted access to the waterway.
The mono-cable, self-anchored structure curves to follow the natural course for cyclists. It splits in two at both ends to separate pedestrians from cyclists and to improve the stiffness of the structure. Arup designed the bridge’s steel spans.
The section of the bridge changes fluently from a deep triangular section at mid-span, where stiffness is needed, to a shallow section which merges into the concrete approaches. The angle of its sides makes it ‘stealthy’ to radar, ensuring it does not impede shipping. Arup’s specialists conducted a wind tunnel test to ensure the 220m-long bridge would be stable in the wind. They also designed tuned mass dampers to prevent the bridge from wobbling as people walk across.
The fluid form of the bridge, coupled with the varying cross-section of the steel box girder deck, makes a striking and harmonious composition. The bridge, which has won several awards, has been well-received as an excellent gateway to the new suburb.