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Opening of composite pedestrian bridge "Ooypoort" in Nijmegen, the Netherlands

News International-French

26 Feb 2014

On February 27th, the composite pedestrian bridge “Ooypoort” will be officially opened.

The bridge has been realized by Meerdink Bruggen (main contractor), Olaf Gipser (architect) and Delft Infra Composites (structural engineering and production) and was commissioned by the City of Nijmegen.

The bridge connects the city of Nijmegen to the Ooijpolder, a nature reserve located on the banks of river Waal. The structure of the bridge consists purely of glass fibre reinforced polyester. With its span of 56 meter, this is now the largest single span composite bridge worldwide.

Because of its dimensions, the bridge had to be produced in three separate sections which were subsequently joined together. By inland barge, the bridge was transported from its production site in Breukelen to the city of Nijmegen. On November 2nd 2013, the bridge was hoisted on to its supports. In the following weeks, the steel and Azobe railings were installed, and the wear layer was applied.

One of the design criteria was that the house boats located in the side branch of the river should be able to pass underneath the bridge for maintenance, even in case of high water levels.  For extreme water conditions, it should even be able to hoist the bridge temporarily from its supports. Fitting the new approach to give the rivers more space rather than trying to restrict the water, the bridge is designed in such a way that it can be partly submerged in case of high water, without any damage to the structure.

The big advantage of using composites for this bridge is not only the low structural weight, but also the durability and the low maintenance costs. Architects get very excited about the design freedom, allowing them to create very esthetically pleasing structures. With the “Ooypoort”, Nijmegen now has yet another iconic bridge within its city borders.