Pedestrian bridge Slinky springs to fame

Kersten Europe supplies 8,000 m three dimensionally bent profiles for a pedestrian bridge in Kaisergarten, Oberhausen.

The new pedestrian bridge begins in Kaisergarten, passes over part of the Old Emscher river and then covers the Rhine-Herne Canal at 8 m height and ends in the Volkspark. The bridge sculpture was designed by the artist Tobias Rehberger.

The bridge project “Slinky springs to fame” is constructed as finale of the project “Emscherkunst 2010”. Using curved spirals, Tobias Rehberger created a new artistic landscape transition. As a construction of the support structure, the only option available was a stressed ribbon bridge, because it is the lightest possible construction, both in regards to material requirements and aesthetics: Rehberger envisaged a curved spiral – light, wild and irregular, like a billowing sail. Due to the clearance height for the container ships permitted to sail on the Rhine-Herne canal, the bridge is required to reach the unusual height of ten metres. This is achieved by creating a multiple spiralling route at both sides of the canal, meaning the bridge has a combined length of over 350 metres. Furthermore, the design concept proposes lighting up the bridge at night.

Kersten Europe supplies a total of over 8,000 m of three-dimensionally curved aluminium profiles. The three distinct profiles sized 120 x 80 x 3.5 mm and 87 x 72 x 5 mm are joined together in the bridge, to form a continuous spiral and give the bridge its distinctive look. The aluminium profiles are bent into their three dimensional shape at Kersten Europe in Germany in a variety of set angles, mechanically treated and hardened.

The following operations were carried out by Kersten Europe in the factories in Wanssum, The Netherlands:

  • The pipes with a diameter of 159 mm are bent into arches with a radius of 9 metres.
  • The arches are sawn to length.
  • 3 separately bent pipes are assembled into a span with the use of a total of 590 fishplates of 300 x 140 x 25 mm
  • Both ends of every span are fitted with a base plate for mounting in the concrete foundation.
  • The protective coating is applied


Photo credits: Roman Mensing

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