A huge new cycling bridge in Eindhoven

The city of Eindhoven is building a reputation of making bold statements with large pieces of cycling infrastructure. After the world famous floating cycling roundabout, the Hovenring, and the 37 kilometre long cycle route all around the city, it now opened a huge cycling bridge to span the A2 motorway.

A father helps his young child to conquer the access ramp of the Cycle bridge Tegenbosch, a new steel arched bridge in Eindhoven. This is the approach from the north-west.
The bridge brings interesting lines into the landscape with its arch and the safety nets.

Until recently it was possible to cross the A2 on the viaduct at Anthony Fokkerweg, but that road is to be expanded in an attempt to improve the flow of motor traffic between Eindhoven and Eindhoven airport. The cycleway on that viaduct will therefore be converted into car space. That meant a new way to cross the motorway by bicycle was needed. Designing company ipv Delft studied the possible solutions and concluded that a brand new separate cycling viaduct – a bit further away from all the cars – would be better than widening that existing viaduct.

The bridge was constructed 140 metres south of the viaduct in Anthony Fokkerweg that was previously also used for cycling. What seems a detour now (if you were to follow the road for motor traffic) will be a completely separate route – away from motor traffic – in future. The bridge connects to a separate cycle route on the west side already, on the east side a new cycle route is planned. Picture City of Eindhoven.
The approach from the west with the arch of the bridge in the far distance.

The city of Eindhoven accepted that the new bridge, connected to partly new cycleways away from the main roads for motor traffic, would indeed be better. Some of those cycle routes are yet to be built, but the 160 metre long bridge has now been opened. It is an arched steel bridge which makes it possible to span the entire A2 motorway and the adjacent N2 regional expressway – all 14 lanes – in a single span of 130 metres long. Ipv Delft only saw advantages to the arched design: “Not just because it looks amazing, but also because of its structural efficiency and minimal use of steel.” It makes it also possible to change the road layout in future without having to change the bridge. A similar type of bridge was used to span the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal at Nigtevecht. (I showed you that bridge in an earlier post.)

The A2 motorway (centre lanes) and the N2 regional express way, with all the exits to Eindhoven, the outer lanes) seen from the new bridge.
This new view – and the bridge itself – drew the attention of many people, young and old. They were all taking pictures on their phones.

The bridge parts were constructed in Belgium and assembled right next to the final location on the west-side of the road. Weighing 1,600 tons or 1.6 million kilos the bridge was too heavy to lift onto its pillars. Instead it was rolled in place in the night of 29 to 30 August 2020, on self propelled modular transporters. The operation was planned take 8 hours and could be followed via a live stream. Everything went so well that night, that the bridge was placed in only 6 hours. A time lapse video shows the entire process.

The bridge was transported to its final location on these giant machines in just 6 hours. Foto courtesy of Dura Vermeer

The bridge then had to be finished on site. That took just a few months. On Friday 23 October the first people could use the bridge and they were generally very enthusiastic. The bridge has a deck of 7 metres wide with a usable space of 5 metres wide. That means two people cycling side by side can pass two other people cycling side by side, while there is still room for two people walking side by side. The bridge deck is 7 metres above the road surface and the top of the arch is again 21 metres above the bridge deck. LED lighting is integrated in the railing as is usual nowadays but this bridge is in Eindhoven aka the city of lights in the Netherlands (because it was always the main seat of Philips, originally producing light bulbs). That means this bridge has to fit the city’s reputation. That is why it got LED spot lights that can light the bridge’s arch from the inside in any desired colour. That feature was not yet operational when I went back to film the night shots.

The former crossing was on the viaduct in the distance. The new cycle route goes wide around the entrances to the motorway and the exits. That means things can change there in future without the need to change things for cycling again. On the diagonal pole a LED spot light that can shine up in every possible colour to light the inside of the arch.
The new Tegenbosch cycle bridge at night. Only the lights in the railing were on that night. On right hand side of the bridge a bit of extra lights for some finishing work to the bridge.

The bridge was named Tegenbosch after a historic farm and also a neighbourhood in this area of Eindhoven. I couldn’t find any mention of the costs of this bridge. So I asked ipv Delft and they tell me the budget was roughly 12 million euros, which is in line with the bridge in Nigtevecht and also comparable to the Hovenring. With this new Tegenbosch cycling bridge the city of Eindhoven has yet another impressive new cycling icon!

The cycleway is well lit at night. Helped a bit by the full moon on this particular night.
The day I filmed, one week after the opening, a crew was doing some work to really finish the bridge. The bridge deck is strong enough (and wide enough) for such vans and also emergency vehicles.

 

My video about this new cycling bridge in Eindhoven.

Riding on the bridge.

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