National replacement task for 85,000 bridges
Bridge campus Flevoland-Floriade is the practical environment for developing and employing innovative and circular bridges.
Many of the existing bridges in the Netherlands were built in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. This means that around 85,000 bridges and viaducts throughout the country are due for replacement or renovation now. It demands an enormous investment and sufficient design and construction capacity to carry this out in a relatively short timeframe (by 2040). In addition, sustainability, circularity and life cycle costs have become relevant criteria. We need innovative solutions and new forms of collaboration.
These 85,000 objects require about 200 million tons of scarce new materials and raw materials, with a price tag of circa €80 billion. Consideration must also be given to the associated costs of failure, amounting to €16 billion. And let us not forget that when we only use new materials in the construction and renovation of bridges and viaducts, we shall also have 200 million tons of waste. The latter is generally low in value and thus a major cost item. The occurrence of the Corona pandemic also emphasised the growing importance of being independent of imports.
Stimulus to accelerate bridges
Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, with a water-rich terrain requiring many bridges, is the perfect context for the province of Flevoland and the municipality of Almere to examine this issue in practice. This process can be used to gain knowledge that can be applied to make the replacement of these 85,000 bridges easier in the coming 20 years and to channel the organisational, financial and ecological impact.
The directors-general of the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Economic Affairs have requested a new approach to the replacement and renovation of bridges. They looked at ‘de Stroomversnelling’ [acceleration] approach that was successfully applied to the renovation of residences built in the 1960s. It would be an ‘Acceleration Bridges’ approach. That is not just an enormous financial and organizational demand. How can we build bridges in a way that takes the entire life cycle into account? One whose scope looks at more than just the bridge, with the aim to innovate construction, management and the role in the environment? One that stimulates the client and the contractor to work together better?
Bridge campus Flevoland-Floriade
To acquire knowledge and apply it in practice, the province of Flevoland and the municipality of Almere set up the Bridge campus Flevoland-Floriade. This campus is the practical environment to develop and build innovative and circular bridges. Together with the government, industry, education and science, the campus innovates by e.g. giving existing bridges and materials a ‘second life’, using new tools for the use of innovative materials and constructions, and optimising the design, collaboration and realisation via a communal data platform.
The Bridge campus was initiated in 2017, while the approach and the results are ongoing and will be evident at Floriade Expo 2022. And afterwards, because the Floriade park will ultimately be turned into a new city district of Almere once its use as an expo site for the world horticultural exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 is finished. The terrain is being used as a “living laboratory” in which new technologies for energy, water, waste, food and mobility are being examined and applied. Floriade Expo 2022 is an accelerator and ideal showcase for the Bridge campus Flevoland to show how a new approach can lead to innovations.
Bridge campus Flevoland Floriade
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