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Cycle and pedestrian bridge Lille Langebro Copenhagen

In the summer of 2019, the city of Copenhagen was gifted a really impressive cycle and pedestrian bridge: the Lille Langebro. The 175m horizontal swing bridge has elegant curves and high finishing degree: a true piece of work! In order to Realdania By & Byg, Hollandia Infra and civil partner Mobilis Design & Construct realized this eye-catching bridge over Copenhagen’s waterfront. Civil contractor Mobilis was responsible for the bottum steel construction of the bridge and surrounding civil works and Hollandia Infra was responsible for the all-steel upper construction and the electrical and mechanical installations. The architectural design was carried out by a design team of Wilkinson Eyre and Buro Happold as main constructor, both from England.

175 meters long
600 tons of steel
10,500 users daily

The bridge consists of 3D-bent steel elements that also required a high level of finishing due to the high architectural requirements. The all-steel riverbank connection is made up of 4 bridge parts; 2 fixed bridges of 42 and 44 meters and 2 revolving bridge parts in the middle of 44 resp. 45 meters long. In total, this creates a free passage for marine traffic of approximately 35 meters. The bridge weighs about 600 tons in total and offers split into a 3m pedestrian path and a 4m cycle way subdivided into two lanes. The bridge has a total length of 175 meters.

A gift to the municipality of Copenhagen

The new cycle and pedestrian bridge is realized as a new addition to the area development in the centre of Copenhagen, project BLOX. Client Realdania is an investment fund that wants to improve the living environment in Denmark. The Lille Langebro is a gift from Realdania to the city of Copenhagen, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance. The new cycle and pedestrian bridge is parallel to the “Langebro” road bridge, which is an important and frequently used connection for traffic in Copenhagen. Hence the name “Lille Langebro” for the new bicycle bridge (“Little small bridge”). Lille Langebro thus creates a comfortable and quiet connection for pedestrians and cyclists and brings the city and the port closer together. With an estimated 10,500 daily users, Lille Langebro will illuminate the Langebro, which is now used daily by more than 40,000 cyclists.

Early contractor involvement

Construction combination Mobilis-Hollandia has been commissioned to design, manufacture, assemble and commission the movable cycle and pedestrian bridge across the harbor of Copenhagen, including surrounding paving. The project was characterized by early contractor involvement. During the tender and the development, there has already been an extensive dialogue between the last 2 providers and the client, so that the knowledge from the market is optimally utilized.

Design

The bridge was designed by an international team, led by the British BuroHappold Engineering. The other team members are the architectural firms WilkinsonEyre, Niras, Eadon and Urban Agency. The bridge’s superstructure is characterized by a light and complex curve in all directions and is entirely made of steel. This has resulted in a specially shaped bridge that is characterized by smooth lines. The 2 beams have a deck with transverse troughs; these 2 beams “rotate” over the length of the bridge. This gives the bridge its graceful appearance. The architectural requirements of these double curved surfaces demanded a high level of finish.

The Lille Langebro consists of four bridge parts and two movable bridge parts. The pivot points have been turned and are located on bridge pillars built in the harbor. These two middle bridge sections swing open 90 degrees when the bridge is opened. The bridge design therefore refers to the swing of a swan. The upper steel construction of the bridge is light, elegant and white. The bottom construction has a dark color that reacts with the water surface. The railings of the bridge are made of brushed stainless steel and made as a fine-mesh net, which gives an airy and transparent expression.

There are two types of light in the bridge railing – both light that points inward and illuminates the walking and cycling paths, and lights that point outward, creating a beautiful band of light from quay to quay. The new bicycle and pedestrian bridge opens simultaneously with the Langebro road bridge and is controlled from the Langebro control tower. It takes about 2 minutes to open / close the bridge.

Scope Hollandia Infra

The scope of Hollandia Infra included: designing, manufacturing and assembling/erecting the 3D formed steel superstructure of the bridge, including anchors, anchor molds and deck flaps. – Stainless steel handrail, with mesh windows (subcontractor Jos van den Bersselaar) – Applying the wear layer and road marking (subcontractor DIBA and Geerdink).

– The hydraulic moment connection in the middle of the bridge (subcontractor SH group).
– The electromechanical movement work (subcontractor SH group).
– Electrical installations, bridge control and safety installations (subcontractor SH group).

Civil partner Mobilis Denmark was responsible for the foundation and bottom steel construction of the new bridge with additional work.

Dimensions upper steel construction 

Section 1 (fixed bridge) 42 m × 11 m 120 tons
Section 2 (movable bridge) 45 m x 11 m 177 tons
Section 3 (movable bridge) 44 m x 11 m 155 tons
Section 4 (fixed bridge) 44 m x 14 m 120 tons

Type of movement work / drive 

The bridge is opened by means of an electromechanically driven movement mechanism. The drives of the bridge are placed in 2 piers in the water.

Transport & Erecting

The 175 meter long bridge was manufactured in 4 parts in the halls of Hollandia Infra. The 4 bridge sections were then transported on a pontoon to the construction site in Copenhagen, after which the sailing in and final assembly of the bridge sections was carried out.

Special features

A special feature of this bridge is that the construction is made up of 3D formed steel plates. Subcontractor CIG used a deformation method that is also used in shipbuilding.