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<Overview

Location: Deinze
Discipline: Civil engineering & infrastructure, Urbanism & Design
Period: 2017 - 2022

Bicycle Bridge Jacques Rogge

Official opening

31 May 2022

Start execution works

March 2021

Single permit approved

November 2019

Approved project note by RMC

June 2018

Approved starting memorandum

April 2018

Everywhere in Flanders, substantial investments are being made in new cycle highways. For the construction of the F7 cycle highway between Ghent and Waregem, a missing link had to be designed in Deinze, between the Veloweg (cycle path) and the Sint-Hubertstraat, with the grade-separated crossing at Volhardingslaan being the final piece. Thanks to an integrated total approach between building technical design, architecture, process supervision and expertise on permits, SBE is the ideal party to bring this new landmark to a successful conclusion.

Context

The Jacques Rogge bridge provides an uneven-ground crossing of the N35 Volhardingslaan regional road for the F7 bicycle highway. The entire project actually consists of

  • an elevated cycle path of approximately 600 m, including two smaller bicycle bridges over Velostraat and Sint-Hubertstraat,
  • the Jacques Rogge bridge,
  • a four meter wide bicycle highway that is integrated to the Infrabel railway infrastructure, and
  • three on- and off-ramps to and from the bicycle highway.

Three bicycle bridges

The route consists of 3 bicycle bridges that are in a similar design. In the starting memorandum, it was decided to allow the parapets of the bridges to function together constructively, so that a simple, slender, transparent and light design could be achieved. The bridges are constructed from a steel U-profile with perforations in the parapet that provide a playful appearance. Research was carried out into a pattern that was simple and followed the logic of the flow of forces in the flanges. It was the pinnacle of a collaboration between technique and form!

For the bicycle bridge over Volhardingslaan, the total span of 35 metres will be halved by placing a central pillar in the central reservation of the N35. With a forked, concrete column, a simple and contemporary design was once again chosen that followed the logic of the forces at flow in the pillar.

The integration of the entirety of the bicycle bridges and access ramps into the immediate environment presented an additional challenge, both from a spatial and constructional point of view. The limited space available and the location next to the railroad infrastructure required a carefully designed solution that would not compromise the stability of the railroad operation and that would pay attention to views into private homes, the green character of the area and the safety and comfort of cyclists.

The combination of the 3 bridges creates a conflict-free segment of one and a half km bicycle highway from the Deinze train station to the Tonnestraat. Close attention has been paid to the connections of the underlying supra-local and local bicycle network throughout this segment. The bridges over the Velostraat and the Sint-Hubertstraat, for example, were not initially part of the assignment. However, attention to the underlying network has resulted in these two bicycle lanes also crossing unevenly and providing real bicycle connection complexes worthy of a bicycle highway. The result is an ambitious, well-integrated, comfortable and attractive keystone for the F7 bicycle highway.

Inauguration during the Deinze bike congress

The Jacques Rogge bridge in Deinze was officially opened on May 31 in the presence of, among others, Flemish Minister Lydia Peeters, Director General of the IOC Christophe De Kepper, Mayor of the City of Deinze Jan Vermeulen and Commissioner of the Province of East Flanders Riet Gillis. This inauguration also marked the start of the annual bike congress, which was organized in Deinze this year.

SBE was commissioned by the Province of East Flanders, the Flemish Government, the City of Deinze and Infrabel for the complete design and study assignment of the bicycle bridges and the bicycle highway. There was close cooperation between the various disciplines within team SBE and the clients, from the first sketches to the follow-up of the works. This collaboration has resulted in a qualitative keystone for the F7 bicycle highway between Ghent and Kortrijk.