A12 Parallelstructuur

One of the largest moveable bridges in the Netherlands, the Amaliabridge, with a span of 25 meters, is built right next to the Gouwe aquaduct crossing the motorway A12 Gouda. In open position, the Amaliabridge looks spectacular with the deck rising some ten meters above the level of the motorway A12. The bridge, designed by architects ZJA, is part of the Parallelstructuur A12, a new road expansion around Gouda, which also includes two new roads that are constructed; the Moordrechtboog and the Extra Gouwekruising.


The new Moordrechtboog passes through the Zuidplaspolder and connects the A20 with the A12. In designing the Moordrechtboog, a choice was made to provide the motorist with a maximum perspective of the road. The road profile is designed in such a way that the guardrails in the central reservation and to the side of the road have largely been omitted, creating an unobstructed view. The engineering constructions are designed not only from the perspective of the driver, but also from the perspective of local residents, pedestrians and cyclists.

Characteristic of this area are the small plots of meadowland, the polders and ditches. Colourful tile mosaics in the underpasses refer to these characteristic elements of the polder, like the view of the horizon and a group of cows at cuddly distance for cyclists. Seen in front, the image looks like a loose collection of pixels, but from a distance the cyclist sees a group of curious cows standing in the meadow. The noses of the cows have been carried out in shiny tiles, making these appear wetter than the rest of the image.

Extra Gouwekruising and the Amaliabridge across the Gouwe

The extra Gouwekruising runs along the North side of the motorway A12 between Gouda and the new Moordrechtboog. The intersection is designed as an underpass with a row of columns in the central reservation. The architectural design of the intersection is based on slenderness. As an example, the columns and railings have a slim design, the deck is bevelled and the edge detailing inflected.

The new Amaliabridge across the Gouwe runs parallel to the motorway A12. Due to its height, the bridge is clearly visible from the motorway. The Amaliabridge consists of a steel deck and a set of panama wheels used as movement work. The movable bridge is light, elegant and has a modest appearance. The control building of the bridge is constructed separately from the bridge and is placed in the water. As the façade is made of glass, the mechanism of the bridge is clearly visible, even at night as the vault is illuminated on the inside. Thanks to the four high light pylons on the fixed part of the bridge, no lighting is needed on the movable part, which creates a calm road image.

Client: The province of South Holland
Principal: Heijmans
Landscape architect: Bosch Slabbers Landscape Architects
Year: 2016

Project: #715 

Aerial photographs: Joop van Houdt, commissioned by The province of South Holland
Night photograph Amalia bridge: Ton Borsboom fotografie
Photo Amaliabrug: Hillebrand



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