VAN BRIENENOORD BRIDGE
RIJKSWATERSTAAT, 1961-1965, Van Brienenoordbrug (E19, A16), Rotterdam
W.J. van der Eb
Civil engineering works
The Van Brienenoord Bridge has a span of 287 metres and a steel arch. Its clearance height of 25 metres means that the approaches to the bridge have to be extremely long, 1300 metres in all. A bascule bridge on the north side has a 53-metre span to accommodate even the largest ocean liners. The counterweight moves in a vast enclosed space; the bridge's operating principle is expressed in the exterior by a polyester half-globe level with the pivotal point and a quarter-circle strip in a different colour concrete. South of the bridge is an intricate if impressive stack interchange regrettably nicknamed 'The Can of Worms'. In 1987 it was decided to construct a second, identical section of bridge, doubling the capacity to 180,000 vehicles every 24 hours.