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Location: Zulte
Discipline: Civil engineering & infrastructure, Urbanism & Design
Period: 2021 - ...

Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge Zulte

Approval of environmental permit

March 2023

Submission of environmental permit

August 2022

Steering committee meeting project note

November 2021

The Lys River is being widened as part of the Seine-Scheldt project to improve inland navigation in Flanders, without losing sight of nature and recreation. The client De Vlaamse Waterweg NV is working with the municipality of Zulte to create a new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. Similar to the Wielsbeke – Waregem bicycle bridge, maximum effort is put into both the recreational and functional character. SBE is also here responsible for the integral design of the bridge, including approach ramps, environmental layout and a viewpoint.

The construction of this bridge will further enhance the recreational bicycle network along the Lys itself and its connection to a wider region. On a smaller scale, the historic connection between downtown Zulte and the Castle at Lake will be re-established. The new bicycle and pedestrian bridge will provide opportunities for both the recreational and functional cycle route network to connect and interlink routes. The new route connects the Limnanderdreef and the F371 bicycle highway towards Wielsbeke. A new resting point with viewpoint on passing ships offers a new tourist attraction.

The overall aim is for a simple, harmonious bridge that does not impose itself on this location but is one with the open Lys landscape. The design of the bridge should be related to the recently designed bicycle bridge in Wielsbeke-Waregem. The main span consists of a steel bridge that follows a quasi-symmetrical curve above the Lys River. Slender concrete access ramps will be constructed on both banks, which will connect to a new embankment on the left bank on top of the existing bank protection.

Also, here the bridge is the result of optimal synergy between structural requirements and architectural design. A steel bridge construction is used in line with the design of the Waregem – Wielsbeke bicycle bridge, which follows the momentum line of its own weight in order to obtain its typical form. This creates a logical, organic, and slender form that fits smoothly within the natural landscape.

A parametric geometry model is built in the design phase due to the organic shape. Different variants can be tested by exporting this model into a calculation and drawing model. The most interesting design is ultimately selected by considering form, cost estimate, use of materials and technical requirements.

This project is part of the Seine-Scheldt project, property 140. In addition to the widening of the waterway, attention is also paid within this file to a supported landscape vision. Semi-open to wide-open vegetation is used to preserve the openness of the valley and to accentuate the view of the valley edges.

SBE tasks

SBE is responsible for the integral design of the new bridge and its surroundings. Specifically:

  • Architecture
  • Design of cycle paths and surroundings
  • Stability design of the engineering structures (preliminary design to implementation design)
  • Preparation of the implementation file
  • Preparation of the tender file
  • Preparation of environmental permit application
  • Assistance in the follow-up of works