Hovenring bicycle bridge: ArcelorMittal's heavy plates contribute to bikers' safety

An elevated bicycle circuit allows bikers to safely cross a heavy traffic junction in the Netherlands. The Hovenring, a circular cable-stayed bridge with a monumental pylon as a central support, hovers like a flying saucer over the crossing. ArcelorMittal supplied the steel plates for this innovative construction.

Detailed information

A flying saucer over a busy road

This new circular bicycle bridge marks the entrance way to the Dutch cities of Eindhoven and Veldhoven and presents an innovative solution to the problem of the growing traffic at the intersection of Heerbaan and Meerenakkerweg.

Due to the development of a nearby housing project, the former level crossing had to be changed. As a cyclist underpass and a level crossing roundabout were not an option for Eindhoven City Council, the Dutch bridge specialist ipv Delft proposed a circular cable-stayed bridge to ensure safe crossing for the cyclists without obstructing the traffic running below.

Spacial integration was one of the main challenges of the design process since the existing infrastructures and neighbouring buildings defined the limits of the grades of the slopes leading up to the suspended roundabout. Due to this limitation, the ground level of the intersection underneath was lowered by 1.5 m, allowing for a comfortable slope both for pedestrians and cyclists.

The design consisted of a thin, circular bridge deck and a monumental central pylon. This concept presented a series of technical challenges both in the design process and construction. Among other issues, it was the standard way of attaching the cables to the pylon that was not viable for this project as it would have resulted in an unaesthetic bulk of steel near the pylon's peak. A tailor-made solution was developed in order to solve this problem, of which the same was applied to the M-shaped supports near the span bridges.

The Hovenring's structure & ArcelorMittal steel

The bridge is composed of a pylon of 70 m in height, 24 steel cables, and a circular bridge deck, and it is built out of around 1000 tonnes of steel. The cables are attached to the inner side of the bridge deck, right where the bridge deck connects to the circular, concrete counter weight. This way, torsion within the 72-metre diameter bridge deck is prevented.

To ensure stability, concrete was added to sections of the bridge deck, and the M-shaped supports near the approach spans play a crucial role in the structural concept.

Soon after the pylon was put in place, the cables started vibrating visibly. Vibrations like these, caused by the wind, are nearly impossible to predict. After extensive research by structural experts, two types of dampers (high frequency and low frequency) were attached to the cables, solving the vibration issues.

100% of the steel used for this innovative construction was supplied by ArcelorMittal to the steel construction company Victor Byuck. The steel plates, mainly in S355 steel grade, were produced at the ArcelorMittal mill in Gijón, Spain.

Iconic lighting

The Hovenring's appearance is spectacular - especially at night. The illuminated pylon and the functional LED lighting system integrated into the railing converts it into a ring of light, ensuring facial recognition of the bridge users. The intersection underneath the suspended bridge is illuminated by lights attached to a cable framework in between the pylon and bridge deck and to the inner surface of the circular intersection.

Project information

  • Eindhoven
  • Netherlands
  • Engineering firm:
    ipv Delft
  • 2013
  • Client:
    Einhoven City Council
  • Steel contractor:
    Victor Byuck Steel Construction
  • Photographer:
    ©ipv Delft: Henk Snaterse & Helibeeld.nl