Uyllander Bridge: ArcelorMittal's high strength steel plates for the iconic steel bowstring bridge over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal

The Uyllander Bridge in Amsterdam is an iconic steel bowstring bridge over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal. Designed as a road bridge, it has two double lanes and a bicycle path and spans freely over 150 m.

Detailed information

Amsterdam's largest bridge

The Uyllander Bridge (Uyllanderbrug), Amsterdam's largest bridge, is an important infrastructure development for the city's opening towards the east, the new residential neighbourhood IJburg created on artificial islands in the IJ lake. It connects directly with the national road network and the A1 and A9 motorways. The city of Amsterdam requested the new bridge be designed as a steel arch bridge and as an urban counterpart to the Enneüs Heerma Bridge that enables access to IJburg from the north.

Created by Quist Wintermans Architecten, the Uyllanderbrug's design is a modern interpretation of a standard bow bridge and is characterised by conceptual clarity and spatial tension. Its shape expresses the tension and stress alterations of its structure, creating a powerful image. In the transverse direction, rigidity is concentrated in two cross beams that form a whole with the straight connecting elements of the arch structures. Thanks to this innovative procedure, the top of the arch could be narrowed down to half its size on the bottom, at the level of the bridge deck. Together with the visibly fixed tie rods the tension of the bridge becomes apparent.

The bridge has a total length of 350 m. The steel bow structure between the abutments on each riverbank is 150 m long and spans freely over the Amsterdam Rhine Canal, facing the impossibility of an additional support in the water in order to allow passage. Its vertical clearance is 9.3 m and the bow reaches a height of 24 m at its highest point. With a total width of 30.5 m, the bridge offers four traffic lanes (two in each direction) and a 3.5 m wide bicycle path. The ramps on both sides lead down from the abutments and connect with the road network.

The ramps' concrete slabs, spanning on average 4 5m, are supported by heavy concrete cross beams.

Bridge structure with ArcelorMittal high strength steel

The steel arch bridge was fabricated by Victor Buyck Steel Construction in Eeklo, Belgium and transported to the municipality of Diemen just outside of Amsterdam, where it was consequently assembled. In September 2012, the 2.672 tonne bridge construction was lifted and placed in its final position with the help of two pontoons. In 2014, it was opened for traffic and constitutes an important arterial road between Amsterdam and IJburg.

ArcelorMittal supplied heavy plate in grade S460ML to Victor Buyck Steel Construction. This high strength steel, produced at ArcelorMittal's plant in Gijón, Spain, offers greater strength allowing for the minimisation of the thickness and therefore reducing the weight of the bridge construction elements.

Project information

  • Diemen/Amsterdam
  • Netherlands
  • February 2011 - December 2012
  • Architect:
    Quist Wintermans Architecten
  • Client:
    Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Gemeente Amsterdam
  • Engineering firm:
    IBA Ingenieursbureau Amsterdam
  • Steel construction:
    Victor Buyck Steel Construction
  • General contractor:
    Victor Buyck Steel Construction - CFE
  • Photographer:
    ©Victor Buyck Steel Construction