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Gerardabridge (Bicycle bridge Vijfstraten)

  • Location: SINT-NIKLAAS [BE]
  • Discipline: CIVIL ENGINEERING & INFRASTRUCTURE, URBANISM & DESIGN
  • Period: 2017 - ...
  • Bicycle bridge over Vijfstraten becomes 'Gerarda Bridge': “Ode to cycling legend from Nieuwkerken”
    January 2024
  • Approach to bridge, first part of cycle path in use
    June 2023
  • Start of construction works
    November 2022
  • Winner of the Construsoft BIM Award
    October 2022
  • Approval of the environmental permit
    April 2021
  • Fietsbrug Vijfstraten engineering SBE #teamsbe #expertsatplay
  • Fietsbrug Vijfstraten engineering SBE #teamsbe #expertsatplay

Everywhere in Flanders, substantial investments are being made in new cycle highways. For the construction of the F4 cycle highway between Ghent and Antwerp, the current section near Sint-Niklaas creates an unsafe situation for soft road users. The route will therefore be adapted so that it runs parallel to the railway line, with a grade-separated junction at Vijfstraten and a level junction at Nieuwe Molenstraat. Thanks to its integrated approach, SBE has been chosen to take on the entire design study.

The proposed route is an almost straight, above-ground connection that guarantees optimal comfort for the cyclist. Different variants have been developed in respect of cycling comfort, as well as flow, cycling safety, spatial impact, legibility and timing/feasibility.

The design for the cycle bridge strives for an elegant, slender construction, which turns the span of 93 metres into a flowing, comfortable movement. This is where architectural and technical design go hand in hand. The steel bridge is designed as a single U-shaped profile with a continuous transverse section. Each architectural component is also used to provide added value in terms of stability. For example, the parapets have decorative perforations or are laser-cut, taking into account the forces at work. In order to achieve the desired slenderness and to maximise the free height under the bridge, an elegant pillar is provided after the span of 60m over Vijfstraten.

Fietsbrug Vijfstraten engineering SBE #teamsbe #expertsatplay

The section is located within dense urban surroundings next to a railway embankment. Wherever possible, a natural embankment is therefore provided; overgrown with local partly shrub-like plants, it serves as a green vein in the otherwise harsh landscape. Only in places where this is not possible or desirable due to lack of space, will a natural embankment be replaced by a supporting foundation. This supporting foundation will be developed as a green element based on reinforced soil and the use of geogrids and geocells. This has several advantages. The most obvious is to continue the line of green embankments in these supporting foundations, so that for the neighbouring plots there is a continuation of the landscape. There is also no risk of damage to the existing retaining wall as a result of vibrations during construction. Any necessary checks during work in respect of possible items on the track are carried out in consultation with Infrabel.

Fietsbrug Vijfstraten engineering SBE #teamsbe #expertsatplay

Responsibilities SBE

  • Drawing up a unique accountability memorandum, including an urban design concept
  • Layout (preliminary) design of bridge, embankments, new junctions, roads and cycle paths
  • Sewage design
  • Architectural design of the artworks
  • Landscape integration of the route
  • Creation of environmental permit file
  • Preparation of tender file
  • Drawing up expropriation plans
  • Assistance with follow-up of works
  • 3D visualizations

This appeared in the media

  • 2/6/2023 – Op de fietssnelweg F4 naast de spoorlijn Antwerpen-Gent vind je sinds enkele weken een nieuw aangelegd stuk fietspad, dat de Nieuwe Molenstraat met de Rootputstraat verbindt. Dit fietspad is het eerste deel van het traject voor de nieuwe fietsbrug Vijfstraten. Tegen de zomer van 2024 kan het hele traject in gebruik worden genomen. Read the article here.
  • Een veilige fietsbrug naast de spoorlijn is de laaste ontbrekende schakel op de fietssnelweg tussen Antwerpen en Gent. De brug is een aanzienlijke verbetering van de verkeersveiligheid en het fietscomfort. De werken zijn klaar tegen half 2024. Lees het volledige artikel, Stad van Morgen, hier.
  • Nieuwe fietsbrug over Vijfstraten in Sint-Niklaas. Read the article Bouwkroniek here.
  • Bouw fietsbrug F4 over Vijfstraten in Sint-Niklaas van start. Read the article here.
  • Werken aan fietsbrug Sint-Niklaas zijn begonnen, missing link fietssnelweg F4 zal klaar zijn over anderhalf jaar. Watch the video from TV Oost here.
  • Sint-Niklase leerlingen maken kennis met fietsbrugproject Vijfstraten. Watch the video TV Oost here.
  • Look at the Belgian Construction Award here.

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