14 January 2018

Danish Bridges: 6. Cykelslangen, Copenhagen

This is the last in this series of posts about the bridges of Copenhagen. There are other interesting structures in the city, but I didn't have time to visit them on this occasion.

Opened in 2014, this 230m long bridge was designed by Dissing + Weitling with Ramboll. It is a bridge for cyclists only - no pedestrians are permitted. It forms a key link in a long cycle path, connecting the Bryggebroen at one end to Dybbølsbro at the other, allowing cyclists to pass across Copenhagen's inner harbour, bypass the Fisketorvet shopping mall, and cross over a major railway corridor. As well as making cyclists' journeys easier, it also helps keep them out of the way of pedestrians.

Nicknamed the "bicycle snake", the bridge curves between buildings and above a harbour inlet. I imagine it gives cyclists some great views, but I decided not to get in their way. I could only admire the bridge from below.

The bridge is minimalist in design, with a steel spine box girder below the deck supported on steel tubular columns. The curved layout of the bridge in plan is sufficient to ensure stability against overturning, with the girder restraining torsional movement. There is nothing extraneous in the design, just what's necessary and no more. The only concession to anything even slightly excessive is the adoption of an orange surface for the floor, although that is less evident under bright lighting at night.

It's an admirable design, and much superior to its neighbour, Bryggebroen. It shows that even a functional and economical design can be greatly improved if treated with care and attention.

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