City for cyclists
Famous for its well-preserved and meticulously restored medieval architecture, the Belgian city of Ghent is also known as one of the cycling capitals of Europe. Bike paths connect the entire city and cyclists are very often put first.
The Parkbosbruggen project involves the construction of two bridges for pedestrians and cyclists: one over Ringway R4 and the waterway around it; the other over the busy E40 motorway. The two bridges are the last links of a bicycle highway from the southern part of Ghent to the center of the city.
Spiral of two windings
“The bridges will significantly facilitate everyday traffic to and from schools and workplaces. The bridges will also serve as an access point to Parkbos, the 1,200 hectare recreational area south of the city,” notes Project Manager Dirk Rombaut of the building company West Construct, which is part of the Besix group.
The ultramodern, slim bridges are constructed by concrete and reinforced by stainless steel. To the naked eye, the project is a relevant example of infrastructure that responds to both aesthetic and functional needs.
“One ramp of the E40 bridge is made from a concrete spiral of two windings, which makes its design rather special. The Ringway bridge is supported by two oval pillars and the bridge itself makes an eye-catching S-turn over the canal,” says Rombaut.
Reinforced for long life
Reinforced concrete combines low cost, versatility and high strength. Outokumpu’s stainless steel rebar was chosen for its durability and safety. Basically corrosion and maintenance free, stainless steel rebar is used to reinforce the concrete bridge decks to prevent corrosion and to protect the concrete from fracturing. Another selection factor was the small distance between the reinforcement and the surface of the concrete on the edges of the concrete decks.
Rombaut is happy with Outokumpu as the rebar supplier. Outokumpu was able to offer customized reinforcement solutions, combined with strong expertise. Altogether three tonnes of Forta DX 2304 duplex stainless steel is used for the bridge project.
Construction started in December 2016 and the project is expected to be completed in March 2018.