One of the highlights of the new A11 motorway in Belgium is the double movable bridge over the Boudewijn Canal. It is also the first movable bridge on a highway in Belgium. This landmark bridge forms part of a long and new viaduct, which is one of the largest and most striking constructions of the A11. Measuring 15 meters high and 1.200 meters long it is one of the eye catchers of the A11 project. The 12 km long new highway provides for a better connection between the seaport of Bruges and the inland. Via Brugge commissioned ZJA with the architectural design of the new A11 motorway and its associated junctions, tunnels, bridges, fauna underpasses, roundabouts and cycle paths. Bureau Bas Smets is responsible for the landscaping of the project.

The architectural design takes well into account how the infrastructure is experienced looking at it from both the road and from the landscape. In this, the objective is to superposition a clear traffic situation, the way the landscape is experienced from the road together with the architecture of the artworks and where possible to maintain, enhance or restore the linear structures of the landscape.

The A11 project has opted for an integral approach, thus allowing traffic engineering, ecological, landscape and spatial aspects to be fully involved in the development of the main road. This integrated approach implies, amongst others, the provision of necessary measures to reduce the impact on the environment, the integration of the main road in to the landscape, quality solutions for intersections and adjustments to the underlying road network. A completely new cycle path network provides secure cycle traffic to and from the port and in between the polder villages.

The realization of the A11 is of great value for the economical growth of the entire region of Bruges, the port of Zeebrugge and the east coast. The project gives attention to separating the port traffic from the local traffic in order to improve road safety and quality of life. The A11 is one of six 'missing links' in the Flemish motorway network, and the largest DBFM road project to date in Flanders. In the Flanders Spatial Structure Plan, the A11 has been selected as main road and is described as the most important interconnection by road between ports.

The “Via Brugge” consortium consists of Jan DE NUL, VAN LAERE, ASWEBO, ACLAGRO, Franki Construct and TINC and has been appointed by Via-Invest, a strategic partnership between the Flemish investment company PMV and the Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV).

Client: Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer
Principal: Consortium Via Brugge
Consultant: Sweco Belgium
Landscape architect: Bureau Bas Smets
Year: 2017
Awards: double movable bridge over the Boudewijn Canal: Steel Award Belgium 2018

Project: #647

Photographs: Sweco Belgium, Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer and Infosteel