12 Feb 2016
12 February 2016 marks the official opening of the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. The new bridge provides improved traffic circulation and offers important benefits from an economic perspective, ensuring its durability well into the future. Furthermore, the movable deck is made of fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) and spans 22.5 metres, officially making it the largest movable FRP traffic bridge in the world. Royal HaskoningDHV is responsible for the architectural design of the bridge and has consulted with the contractors and client during the engineering phase of the FRP deck.
Alkmaar opens largest moveable fibre reinforced polymer traffic bridge
The bridge provides improved traffic circulation in the region and offers important benefits from an economic perspective. Jan Nagengast, Alderman of the Municipality  of Alkmaar said “For the Municipal Council it is important to keep the industrial park attractive for existing and new companies.”

The advantages of building the movable deck out of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) are manifold. At a weight of 90 tonnes it is only half the weight of a traditional steel constructed deck. Fibre reinforced polymers are strong, lightweight and virtually maintenance-free. Its application means the movable parts and the operating mechanism of the bridge are lighter resulting in a smaller foundation, lighter counterweights and the omission of the underground turning chamber. Reduction in all these areas has the added effect that less energy is needed to open and close the bridge, reducing overall operating costs. 

The bridge is constructed by the combination CFE-Demako under the auspices of the Municipality of Alkmaar and the Province of Noord-Holland. The design is by architect Joris Smits of Royal HaskoningDHV. Delft Infra Composites is responsible for the construction of the fibre reinforced polymer deck. Total cost of the bridge is € 9.15 million.

Architect Joris Smits of Royal HaskoningDHV said “In terms of design and the use of materials, the Nelson Mandela Bridge is a bridge that fully meets the demands and needs of a bridge for the future.”  

World leader
Royal HaskoningDHV is world leader in the application and use of fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) in infrastructure. The company is currently revising and optimizing the CUR96 guidelines for the building and engineering of FRP structures such as locks and bridges in collaboration with the Dutch government. Recently, the world’s largest FRP locks were installed in the Wilhelmina Canal in Tilburg, the Netherlands for which Royal HaskoningDHV provided consultancy, design review and quality control.

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