Arup supports development of The Dafne Schippers Bridge in Utrecht

04 April 2017 2 min. read

The Dafne Schippers Bridge, in Utrecht the Netherlands, was officially opened yesterday. The new bridge, which connects the city centre with one of the growing suburbs, was made to fit seamlessly into the wider and already built environment, and will serve around 11,000 cyclists per day.

The Dafne Schippers Bridge is a 110 metre bicycle and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Amsterdam Rijn canal to connected the centre of the city of Utrecht with one if its new districts, Leidsche Rijn. The bridge is named after Dafne Schippers, a Dutch world class athlete that has her roots in Utrecht.

The bridge itself is suspended 9 metres above the canal, with the highest point on the suspension arms stretching 35 metres above the water. The bridge is integrated into its wider surroundings, which include a public school and gardens – which form a single holistic design feature, with parts of the school under the ramp for the bridge. The bridge is expected to serve around 11,000 cyclists per day.

The Dafne Schippers Bridge, Utrecht

The bridge, commissioned by the Utrecht council, was designed and developed by Next Architects, Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbureau, Bureau B+B and Arup, a engineering, design and consulting firm.

Arup provided a range of services to the development of the bridge, including the delivery of advanced static, dynamic and foundation design skills to one of the teams working on the project, and a number of dynamic assessments, including wind tunnel test to identify the kinds of dampers required to meet the dynamic requirements of the wider bridge design. The firm also acted as a facilitator between the firm’s client and the canal owner, Rijkswaterstaat – part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Commenting on the project a spokesperson for Arup says, “The Dafne Schippers Bridge links the historical city of Utrecht to the newly developed residential area Leidsche Rijn. Together with Next Architects we produced the winning design of a landmark bicycle and pedestrian suspension bridge for the Municipality of Utrecht. The asymmetrical span is the result of designing the steel box pylons to match the tree line on one bank and the low building characteristics on the other side. A special detail is the integration of the approach span with the roof of the nearby primary school.”