Like a flying saucer, the steel bridge hovers above the Heerbaan/Meerenakkerweg intersection, its impressive pylon marking the entrance way to the cities of Eindhoven and Veldhoven. There used to be a level crossing here, but the development of a nearby housing estate meant the intersection needed changing in order to cope with growing traffic. As Eindhoven City Council refrains from cyclist underpasses and didn’t want a level crossing roundabout either, they asked Dutch bridge specialist ipv Delft to look at possible solutions. A circular cable-stayed bridge soon appeared to be the best option.
One of the challenges of the design process was the spacial integration. The existing infrastructure and buildings set the boundaries for the grades of the slopes leading up to the roundabout. As space was limited, it was decided to lower the ground level of the intersection underneath by a metre and a half, allowing for a comfortable slope for pedestrians and cyclists.
The design and building process offered many technical challenges as well. Ipv Delft had a very clear view of what the bridge should look like: little more than a thin circular bridge deck and a powerfully shaped pylon. Amongst other things, this meant the standard way of attaching cables to the pylon wouldn’t suffice, as it would result in a bulk of steal near the pylon top. Therefore, a tailor-made solution was designed. The same applies to the M-shaped supports near the span bridges.