The global climate change and urbanization leaves us a new challenge. More and more rivers that cross The Netherlands show peaks in their water levels. There is an increasing risk of flooding. Therefore a Nationwide project started to rearrange the floodplains to give way to the amount of water.
The Zaligebrug (Citadelbrug) in Nijmegen is part of this program. By creating a bypass for the river the Waal, a new island, Veur-Lent, emerges. The bridge connects the island and the northern riverbank. Its location, in the floodplain, makes the bridge -partially- submerged in the water a few days a year, with an average fluctuation of about 5 meter. This particular property we used as one of the main design principles for the bridge. With its steppingstones the bridge attracts people with high tide and will make people wonder when there is no water at all.
The curved bridge becomes an integral part of a path structure in the riverpark. The bridge deck continues on land, path and bridge submerge. The transition between bridge and path is smooth and gradual. The longitudinal profile is asymmetrical, which makes the lower part of the bridge disappear at high tide. Then the dynamics of the landscape is most visible, the rising water becomes an attraction. Stepping stones, terraces and benches enhance the recreational quality of the bridge.