Day 78/365 of Steel – Prins Clausbrug

26 June 2003: Inauguration Prince Claus bridge by Princess Maxima.

Utrecht 'Prins Claus brug'
Fig 1: Utrecht ‘Prins Claus brug’
source: Utrecht ‘Prins Claus brug’

The Prins Claus bridge in Utrecht is an asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge with a main span of 150 m. over the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, a side span of about 80 m. and two access bridges of about 37,5 m. The 90 m. high pylon, leaning backwards, with its ever-changing cross-section draws the attention of road users, together with the fascinating play of lines of the pylons. The architectural design is by UNStudio, the client was the municipality of Utrecht, and the contractor combination CFE – Victor Buyck Steel Construction were the builders of this magnificent bridge. 

Utrecht 'Prins Claus brug'
Fig 2: Utrecht ‘Prins Claus brug’

The bridge consists of a steel-concrete roadway supported in the main span and the side span by a total of 19 stay spans. The supporting system of the trusses is different: this part of the bridge does not have any trusses and is supported as a bending girder. The bridge is supported on a total of 5 supports, with the pylon as the fixed point.

Prins Claus brug, Utrecht - architect: UNStudio
Fig 3: Prins Claus brug, Utrecht – architect: UNStudio

This project reminds me of my time at VBSC, the steel construction company from Eeklo that built dozens of impressive bridges in Belgium, Europe and far beyond. For me, it was an honour and a great learning experience to have worked for this family owned company. It only increased my love for steel.

Symmetrical View of the Prins Clausbrug Bridge
Fig 4: Symmetrical View of the Prins Clausbrug Bridge
Photo: Wikimedia

Besides Buyck, there are many other great steel builders in Belgium and the Netherlands of whom we should be proud. Let us hope that our governments are also aware of the importance of a strong manufacturing industry in their own countries. I admit that I sometimes doubt this, given the enthusiasm with which some welcome the arrival of a ship from China with four lock gates and two bascule bridges.  

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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