New bridge for the Rotterdam URBCON pilot

The Engineering Office of the city of Rotterdam is working on a pilot project together with TU Delft and the University of Gent. The intention is to construct a bridge with the sustainable concrete mixture developed in the URBCON-project. The experience gained in this project is of importance to Rotterdam in order to live up to its sustainable ambitions. Besides, Rotterdam has a lot of experience with innovations in the field of high-strength concrete and composite, which makes Rotterdam a suitable partner within Urbcon.

For this project Rotterdam needed to look out for a new object to be used as a pilot. As the two small pedestrian bridges at the Steve Bikoplaats in Rotterdam have to be replaced at the end of 2021 at the latest, it wasn’t possible anymore to use them as pilot for the Urbcon project. The development, including material tests, of the concrete mixture takes a lot of time. That’s why Rotterdam had to make the switch to the ‘Botreep’-bridge in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam. This bridge is 24 metres long and nearly 3 metres wide and has to be replaced by the end of 2022.

So, instead of two small bridges it is now one large bridge. The architect of the Botreep bridge is Marc Verheijen of the City of Rotterdam. He will be involved in making the necessary adjustments to the design in order to make the application of URBCON possible.

A test plan for the concrete mixtures has been drawn up together with TU Delft, Gent University and FDN. Delft delivers two recipes, but presumably just one mixture is going to be used. However, this is still a matter of debate. The testing period will start in the first half of 2021 and this will run throughout the rest of the year. Some tests will be carried out later, in collaboration with the future contractor.

The first steps in the plan for the construction of the bridge, are to start with the tests. These tests and full scale tests, which are going to be executed in 2022, will be used to obtain an environmental permit from the building inspection department of the City of Rotterdam. The Engineering Office of Rotterdam is already in touch with this department, and a schedule has been set. Early next year the contract is going to be drawn up, early 2022 realization of the bridge will start. The candidate contractors are all experienced in performing innovative projects for Rotterdam.

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