The Longest Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge in Flanders, Belgium: Cycle Bridge over the A201
March 21, 2023
With a total length of 710 metres—a deck 510 metres long and sloping approaches of 200 metres—the new bridge will be a striking feature in the urban landscape when it is completed and open for use in 2024.
Architectural studio ZJA, part of the consultancy consortium MoVeR0, produced the architectonic design for the cycle bridge over the A201 Leopold III-Laan. The bridge is located in an area consisting mainly of office buildings and hotels. The bike highway will make it easier for the office population to take the bicycle more often to go to work. Consultations have also been held with neighbouring companies.
Light and transparent
The design focus was on limiting the footprint of the bridge and water infiltration into the soil on-site. The former is reflected in the long spans (up to 36 metres) and V-shaped supports that have a relatively small contact point with ground level. The latter is done by making space under the ends of the bridge for wadis, which are infiltration zones for water.
During wet weather periods, the water that comes from the bridge will infiltrate the soil without eroding it, a common problem under bridges. By constructing wadis, the team solves the erosion problem and makes a positive contribution to the ecosystem by allowing plants to grow alongside.
Ralph Kieft, architect and partner at ZJA, said, “To make this imposing bridge fit its surroundings, we gave it as light and transparent a silhouette as possible. To achieve this, the white bridge is made of steel and rests on V-shaped grey steel columns with cut-away corners. With its gradual gradient in a continuous upward curve and its perfectly straight trajectory, the cycle bridge makes a long, fluid gesture that marks the boundary between Flanders and the Brussels-Capital Region.”
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Cycle bridge over the A201
Gross Floor Area Bridge (excl. stairs)
3,463 square metres
Architectural studio ZJA as part of the MoVeR0 consortium
Victor Buyck Steel Construction; Stadsbader
Civil & Structural Engineer
MoVeR0 (Sweco Belgium; Arcadis Belgium)