News

Car bridge Turnhoutsebaan Wijnegem reaches destination

Anyone walking along the Albert Canal last week may have done a double take as the steel Turnhoutsebaan car bridge floated jauntily past. Its destination: Wijnegem. Last Sunday the new bridge, designed by ZJA, was placed on its abutments amid intense public interest.

Jochem Verbeek (project architect at ZJA) says, “At Wijnegem ZJA designed not one but two new bridges to replace the old bridge. The new car bridge is low, so that the spatial and visual impact on the surroundings remains limited. With its gently arched girders and V-shaped supports, the bridge integrates seamlessly into the landscape. Preparatory work on the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians will start later this year.”

Smooth crossing with consideration for the environmentings

The car bridge crosses the canal ahead of the Wijnegem lock and has a span of 88 metres. With its horizontal shape and modest height, the bridge obstructs the view as little as possible. The V-shaped supports give optimal openness and there is space for cycle paths and a road along the canal. The abutments are laid on a stepped structure that will be planted up, for a friendly transition to the rural surroundings.

 

Further along the canal, a separate 175-metre bridge for cyclists and pedestrians will soon arise, long and graceful, with one foot elegantly resting on an extension of the lock complex. With the disappearance of the heavy old concrete bridge, the designers have also seized the chance to transform the space underneath from a dark underworld into a lighter, greener and more open environment.

More space for water-bone transport

During its journey along the water, the Wijnegem car bridge passed the Theunisbrug at Merksem, another project by ZJA as part of the raising of the 62 bridges over the Albert Canal, with the goal of making more space for water-borne transport. The replacement of the bridge at Wijnegem represents the culmination of this large-scale operation.

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