Projects / Bridge Albert Channel, Oelegem

Bridge Albert Channel, Oelegem - 09.033.01


Design and complete study (architecture and engineering)


Planning to widen the Albert canal and raise the clearance height for maritime navigation, 'De Scheepvaart' has contracted the joint venture Ney & Partners + Libost-Grontmij as project designers for the complete study of a generic arch bridge, applicable to 24 locations along the Albert canal. The bridge in Oelegem is the first in that series. The concept is based on a set of different typological and technical choices, as well as a standardisation of elements, leading to economies of scale. Since the spans vary from approximately 90 to 140m, we have chosen a 'bowstring-bridge' - the most economic solution for such spans. The two arches of the bowstring are leaning towards each other, so that they touch at mid-span to form one single structure. Meanwhile, the geometrical concept of the bridge is sufficiently flexible to adapt easily to different locations and situations along the Albert canal. We have used 3D parametric modelling extensively as a design tool, because it enables quick generation of different geometries. Durability and simplicity have been main considerations during the design process. All connection details have been designed to be both robust and have a high degree of recurrence.

Specific features

The Oelegem Bridge has a span of 104m. It holds 2 traffic lanes with two lateral, 3m wide cycling lanes. The bridge's skeleton consists entirely of S355 J2G3 steel, with the exception of the vertical hangers, which are solid bars in very high quality steel. The usage of steel allows for a slender, elegant and efficient structure, while enabling quick and cost effective assembly.


Nomination Steel Award 2014 Belgium, (BE)

  • 2009-2010

  • 2013-2014

  • Ney & Partners

  • De Scheepvaart

  • Oelegem, Belgium

  • 104 m

  • 3500000 € Vat Excl.

  • Completed
  • J.L. Deru