The steel bicycle and pedestrian bridge crossing the railway line Sittard-Maastricht intends to simplify and increase contacts between the city, business park Fortuna and sports area Limburg. The bridge is firmly embedded in the green roadside scenery along both railroad tracks, and has an elegant shape and subtle details. The chosen form of the hourglass invites people to come closer and cross the bridge. Comfort and accessibility of the crossing were the main principles of the design.

The bridge offers a natural and smooth connection to the bike paths from four directions. By basing the design on a reduction of the overhead wire height, the maximum difference in height on accessible surfaces could be reduced to just over three meters. Therefore, and because the bridge widens from 4,5 meters in its mid to over 12 meters at the bases, the slopes are gradual and comfortable.

The skin of the bridge is part of the load-bearing structure, and the curved shape of the middle part enhances the fluent character of the bridge. The parapet is a seamless extension of the bridge surface. All safety and guidance features as well as the linear LED lamps that light up the bridge deck are integrated into it. The skin of the parapet is perforated as much as possible to achieve transparency. The steel outer skin of the bridge has a blue-grey-green colour and blends into the vegetation of the bridge ramps. The white-grey inner skin provides a spatial and fresh appearance and is reflective to light. Thus, the inner skin forms a contrast with the outer skin of the bridge.

Authors: Rob Torsing, Ralph Kieft and Jack Bakker

Read the full Paper: Bicycle and pedestrian bridge Sittard-Geleen (pdf)