A clever display of sheer force
With effect from 2019, more than 1200 buses will be using the new bus bridge to cross the railway tracks in Zwolle every day. In order to take some pressure off the busy north side of the railway station, the current bus station will be moved to the south side. The buses from the north and the centre of Zwolle will be using the new bus bridge to quickly and comfortably transport travellers to and from the new bus platform.
The S-shaped design of the bus bridge is a clever display of engineering clout by BAM Infra and bridge specialist ipv Delft. Besides the two abutments on which the bridge will rest in the banks, only four extra pillars are needed to support the 245-metre long bridge. Besides the design, BAM Infra and steel construction company Victor Buyck from Ghent, Belgium, have also worked on the steel main span of more than 80 metres.
Rick Bruinink, project leader with BAM Infra Regionaal: ‘The project is a technical and logistic challenge. Due to the bridge's S-shape, forces act in a much more complicated way than on a straight bridge. Besides the curved shape, the connection of the steel main span of more than 80 metres long to the two abutments adds to the complexity. The structure is going to be built in different phases and connected together by means of pre-stressing cables.’
Not your everyday job
‘You can now see it all really come together,’ said Shana de Waele in the large industrial hall in Ghent. Shana is a project leader with Victor Buyck Steel Construction. She is also the coordinator for the steel bridge frame. She was showing us around while workers at the building site were actually moving the heavy steel parts from one hall to the next. The enormous sheets had been welded together in one hall after which the outside was roughened by steel shot blasting and a weather-proofing coating was applied in the next hall.
You can view an impression of the production process at Victor Buyck Steel Construction below.