Design and construction of the cycle bridge and wildlife corridor

Realising the project together with the local residents

Cycle bridge Nigtevecht

Near Nigtevecht we are designing and constructing a fixed cycle bridge over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. This bridge will join up important recreational cycle routes and also increases the accessibility of schools and business districts in the region. Close to the bridge we will also be creating a wildlife corridor. As part of the Netherlands Nature Network (previously known as the National Ecological Network), this will connect the wetlands around the Vinkeveense and Loosdrechtse Lakes and make the exchange of fauna possible once again. Currently that is virtually impossible; the wetlands have shrunk considerably and are separated by barriers including the A2, the railway line and the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. Under the contract we are also responsible for maintaining the cycle bridge for twenty years and the wildlife corridor for three years.

Environmental management is a particularly important factor within this project. The desire to create this link was present for some time, but local residents did not see the need for the bridge and expressed concerns about impaired views, inconvenience and privacy. In response, we paid a great deal of attention to environmental aspects even before the contract was awarded.

Quickly creating support

Using the tried-and-tested method of Public-Private Local Partnerships, we took steps to maximise support for the project. These included organising local meetings, with contributions from our designers, ecologists, architects and safety experts. We also visited the project site with local residents and asked them for their ideas. Some of these were actually put into practice. Thanks to our efforts, the zoning plans were adopted unanimously and also received numerous compliments.

Well-considered design

The design of the bridge has been perfectly tailored to the surrounding area. Fitting in the ramps presented a particular challenge, due to the length of these elements. On the eastern side the ramp is compact to keep the view clear for residents and prevent the landscape from being broken up, while the other ramp is curved. It is not just local residents, however, but also users – cyclists and pedestrians – who are benefiting from our full attention. As a result, we have managed to realise our ambition of achieving a score of at least 8 from the Dutch Cyclists’ Union. In fact we even managed to exceed this.

More information?

Thom Hienekamp

Managing Director Ballast Nedam Park & Connect

Thom is Managing Director of Ballast Nedam Park & Connect and, with his team, is involved in the design and construction of high-quality mobility links. Such as parking garages, bridges and viaducts. Everything is based on the principle of the learning organisation and servant leadership: the inverted management pyramid. Thom always keeps his dream in mind; a fully circular living environment. In which people can move around easily, happily and safely and connect with each other.

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