Biobased bicycle bridge

15 December 2017 - Published by Cees Meijles
The construction of a bicycle bridge of reused biological material.

The province of Fryslân will work together with business, Green PAC and students from TU Delft and Osnabrück on replacing the bicycle bridge over the Van Harinxma canal at Ritsumasyl by a bicycle bridge of biobased material.

 The province of Fryslân made the decision to finance this so-called biobased composite bridge. The is the first biobased bridge in the Netherlands. A team, consisting of the province, contractor Reef Infra-Spie and composite producer Infra Composites, has gone through an innovative and challenging development process. This involved close collaboration with education (Green PAC). The team conducted research into the use of biobased composites in bridge construction, in combination with a variant study of what will be the best bridge. This led to a design of a swing bridge with a bio-composite deck of 22 meters. 80% of the decks consist of natural material, based on flax. For now, that is the highest percentage that can be achieved. The bridge has a lifespan of 50 years. In total, the bridge will be 66 meters long.

 Circular economy

Circular economy Deputy of the province of Fryslân Michiel Schrier: "We have gone through a wonderful innovative process here with the client, contractor, producer and knowledge institutes. This has resulted in a nice plan in which infrastructure, circular economy, innovation and knowledge development come together. We can be proud of that as a province." The construction starts in mid-2018. The total investment is € 6.6 million. Europe also funds a part of this.

 Worldwide (only in the Netherlands) only two of these bridges are made, with a limited span, in a park. The Ritsumasyl bridge is the first of its kind in the public road network and the first over a canal for commercial shipping.


The project has already received recognition in a competition within construction company Strukton. The prize was awarded by a professional jury on the basis of innovativeness, impact on sustainability, scaling up possibilities and cooperation. The amount of money (€ 5,000) is for additional research at the educational institutions. The project has received the working name DRIVE. More information at