The Melkwegbridge, a continuation of the Melkweg, is part of the Kanaalsprong master plan by NEXT Architects and connects the Weidevenne district to the historical city centre of Purmerend, The Netherlands. To conform to the angle of inclination requirements with regard to bicycle and wheelchair traffic, architects needed a length of over 100m.
NEXT Architects therefore decided to separate bicycle and wheelchair traffic from pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians cross the canal by a high arch, reach a height of over 12m and stand a chance of a vista: the connection between the old and the new becomes perceivable here. The bridge thus becomes more than just the fastest possible crossing, it becomes an end and an attraction in itself. Because pedestrian traffic and bicycle traffic are separated, the footbridge can continue the direct line of the Melkweg in the direction of the centre. The bicycle bridge coils over the water to create sufficient length to limit the angle of inclination of the bicycle path. The section that opens is divided diagonally and consists of two revolving bridge decks.
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Images courtesy of NEXT Architects