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Construction starts on art bridge across De Boelegracht

The preparatory works on the art bridge are picking up pace in May 2023. On the south bank, on the Buitenveldert side, we are starting by preparing the ground for concrete foundations, a so-called ‘abutment’. Ultimately this will support the bridge. In order to support the weight, we are inserting a ‘combi-pile wall’ into the ground: a combination of a sheet pile wall and several piles that ensure that the ground underneath the abutment is stable. When this work is complete in late July, new shoring will be added to protect the bank and we will repair the site around it. There will be hardly any traffic disruption during the work. However there will be noise caused by the insertion of the combi-pile wall.

Underground and green canal wall

Earlier this year, the contractor took a look underground. It turned out that an old culvert – an underground connection between two watercourses – was in the way. We removed this, creating space for the abutment. It will not be a bare concrete structure: on the waterside, we will be relandscaping much of the area around the abutment. The result will be a canal wall of around 15 m.

Working times and disruption

Work will be done from Monday to Friday between 07.00 and 16.00. The works may occasionally overrun until 19.00. In order to minimise disruption, contractor K. Dekker is using as many materials as possible that have been pre-prepared in a workshop and delivered ready to use. Putting the combi-pile wall into position will make a lot of noise, for around 15 minutes three times per day, spread across several days in May. Because of the busy cycle path in De Boelelaan, construction materials will be transported outside peak periods as far as possible. There will also be traffic controllers to guide construction traffic. Pedestrians and car drivers will experience little or no disruption.

Long prelude to art bridge

Back in 2020, we presented the plans for the art bridge at a walk-in meeting. The initiative for the bridge, designed by Amsterdam artist Martijn Sandberg, came from the developers BPD and AM (together forming the Zuidschans construction consortium) in 2019. They wanted to add quality to the living environment by donating an artwork and combine that idea with plans for an extra connection between Zuidas and Buitenveldert. There was a lot of local reaction: ranging from enthusiasm for the extra link with Buitenveldert to reservations about the need for a second bridge in addition to the Lex van Deldenbrug bridge some distance away. During the application for the environmental permit, the project was slightly delayed, but the draft decision was made available for consultation in April 2022. This was followed by another residents’ meeting (read the meeting report here, in Dutch) and in June of that year, the permit was awarded. The work has now finally started.

Installing of art bridge

When the abutment is in place by the end of July 2023, the bridge itself can be installed. The plan is for this artistic crossing over De Boelegracht to be completed by October 2023. We will keep you informed of developments.

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