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Award for Europe's most beautiful pedestrian bridge

The pedestrian bridge, Akrobaten (the Acrobat), in Bjørvika, Oslo, was awarded the first prize in the category, "Pedestrian and bicycle bridges" at The European Awards for Steel Bridges. Attractive bridges like Akrobaten have a positive impact on the general impression of the surrounding area.

The Norwegan pedestrian and bicycle bridge, Akrobaten, has just been awarded the first prize for extraordinary steel and composite bridges at the European Awards for Steel Bridges in Lisbon, Portugal.

The bridge has received a great deal of attention due to its beautiful architecture and has become a popular subject for photography and films because of its very airy bridge design.

According to Bridge Structures Engineer, Runar Sørensen, from Ramboll in Norway, it has been a challenging task to realise the structure, which consists of a lot of steel and glass:

Small disturbance
"Akrobaten crosses 19 electrified railway tracks at Oslo central station and was built with minimal disturbances to the rail traffic. This was possible by launching the triangular truss after the installation of the pillars. The concept for installation was taken into account during the early design stages and, as a consequence, the truss was constructed with extra thick steel walls and bolted joints were incorporated into the pillars."

The bridge is planned so that access is gained from the platforms and therefore all of the pillars are placed on the eastern side of the bridge. This is especially demanding for the pillars that are welded with up to 80 mm thick plates.

The force distribution between the different parts of the bridge has been analysed with a 3D structural analysis program which included all elements of the bridge. For the documentation of how the bridge would behave under traffic and environmental loads this model was crucial.

A positive impact
In recent years, the use of architectural design has been increasingly common for Norwegian pedestrian bridges especially in and around the larger cities. The most prestigious bridges are often built in old industrial areas and harbours when they are transformed into public areas and living quarters.

"Attractive bridges have a positive impact on the general impression of the surrounding area. In recent years, Ramboll has been involved in planning such bridges and we hope this trend will continue, " says Runar Sørensen.

About the prize
This is the third time the "European Award for Steel Bridges" has been given. ECCS (European Convention for Constructional Steelwork) is organising the award.

The objective is to give Europe-wide recognition to outstanding steel and composite bridges and footbridges, emphasising the many advantages of steel in construction, production, economy and architecture. One of the selection criteria is that the construction must have been completed and be ready for use within the last three years.

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