First air-heated bridge in Sweden

06 Mar 2013

Snow-free pedestrian bridge by Erik Andersson Architects now complete

The Tullhus Bridge which was awarded 1st prize in an invited architectural competition organised in 2008 has now completed. This new bridge is located in Norrköping, Sweden and takes pedestrians and cyclists from Strömsholmen to the north quay in the city centre. Erik Andersson Architects worked with Ramboll, Lecor Stålteknik AB and WSP on the project.

The bridge has been part of the urban planning since the early 1950s, but it wasn't until recently that the plans were brought into effect when the city begun building a new residential area around Strömsholmen. In 2008 the municipality invited Erik Andersson Architects to an architectural competition for the construction of the long awaited bridge in 2012. The design would link the new area to the existing city centre.

At 72m in length, the bridge is constructed of steel and has an hourglass-shaped body tapering towards the centre both in plan and section, with the middle portion at a depth of 0.86m. The bridge is painted in silver metallic and its shiny underside reflects the water in Motala Ström, the river that has played a central role in the life of the city since the Middle Ages.

A built-in hot-air system makes it possible to heat the bridge and keep it clear from snow in the winter. As the first air-heated bridge in Sweden, the design required a complicated construction process. It was prefabricated in one piece and, after welding and sandblasting, transported in one single piece, 3km through the streets of Norrköping before reaching the building site. 

On one side of the river sits an old industrial dock, while a natural shoreline marks the other. The body consists of welded plates, which have been sandblasted and painted, while the walkway is draped by a layer of acrylate. The width of the walkway, as well as the height of the beam, increases towards the middle of the bridge. The beam height is 1.6m at the supports and 0.86m at the middle of the bridge. 

The bridge has vibration dampers to counteract vertical oscillations where the structure employs a welded hollow beam and 12mm thick plates covering the underside of the bridge. The handrails feature a built-in LED lighting system, illuminating the walkway and guiding pedestrians and cyclists over the snow-free bridge. 

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