The construction of a bicycle bridge of reused organic material over the Van Harinxma canal at Ritsymasyl is going ahead. The province has approved funding for a so-called bio-based composite bridge. This bridge is a first in the Netherlands. A team consisting of province, contractor Reef Infra-Spie and composite manufacturer Infra Composites has completed an innovative and challenging development process. During this process, they worked closely with education (Green PAC).

The team studied the application of bio-based composites in bridge construction, in combination with a variant study of what the best bridge is. This produced a design for a swing bridge with a biocomposite 22-metre deck. The decks are made of 80% sustainable material, based on flax. That's now the highest attainable percentage. The bridge has a lifespan of 50 years. In total, the bridge will be 66 metres long.

Circular economy
Member of the Provincial Executive, Michiel Schrier: "We completed a wonderfully innovative process with the customer, contractor, manufacturer and knowledge institutions. That produced a great plan in which infrastructure, circular economy, innovation and knowledge development come together. As a province, we can be proud of this." Construction starts mid-2018.

The total investment is € 6.6 million. Europe is also contributing funding. Globally (only in the Netherlands), only two of these bridges have been made, with a limited span length, in a park. The Ritsumasyl bridge is the first of its kind in the public road network and over a canal for commercial shipping.

Sector award
The project has already received recognition in a competition within Strukton construction company. The award was decided by a professional jury based on innovativeness, impact on sustainability, upscaling options and cooperation. The prize money (€ 5,000) will be used for extra research at the educational institutions.

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