The railway station area in Utrecht is currently undergoing a large transformation subdivided in a lot of different partial projects. Some of these projects have already been completed, like the City Offices, while other projects are still in their preparatory phase. One of these projects in preparation is the Rabobrug, a 275 meters long bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the railway, establishing a vital new link to and from the city centre of Utrecht.
The bridge is designed by the architectural office of cepezed as an elongated esplanade with trees, embedded in the urban tissue of Utrecht and connecting the historical city centre with the station area. Octatube is responsible for the glass balustrades with a total length of approximately one kilometer. LED lighting will be integrated in the curved handrail, illuminating the fly-over at night.
The client of the project is Prorail, who assigned Strukton Colijn to carry out the lower substructure of the bridge, while BSB Staalbouw will execute the upper structure. The office of ABT has been appointed as consultant. Erection of the bridge across no less than nineteen train tracks involves different challenges and construction takes place in an already overcrowded area.
Up to now the project has been given the work title ‘Rabobrug’, but the project organization has launched a contest for a real future name. The new bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be opened next year.
Not only in Dutch cities like Utrecht, but also abroad, cyclists get more priority. This can partly be explained by increasing amounts of traffic, growing population figures and a worsening living environment. The Radboud University has recently appointed a ‘bike professor’ and throughout the world uniquely designed urban bicycle bridges are realized, such as the successful Bicycle Snake in Copenhagen.