The world’s first bridges were built to help people cross over obstacles, such as streams or uneven terrains. That was the beginning of bridge engineering. Today, bike and pedestrian bridges benefit from a revival and are part of sound transportation strategies that takes into account all modes of transportation. Although functionality remains a priority, these structures are also being designed as feature elements for their surrounding environments.
In Finland, the Kruunuvuorensilta Bridge is one of the longest structures in the world dedicated to public transportation, pedestrians and cyclists. The main visual element of the bridge is the tower, which stands as a balanced counterpoint to the landscape and the diamond-shaped tower’s unique design is a new landmark for Helsinki.
Innovation in Bridge Design
Capitalizing on new materials, methods, and technologies, WSP provides innovative solutions that adapt to the challenging requirements of our clients. Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is a good example, and WSP designed one of the longest FRP structures in the world: the River Leri Footbridge, in Wales. Research and testing led to WSP’s development of a new FRP jointing system that met the client’s requirement for minimal maintenance and delivered significant benefits over the life of the structure.
Bridges for Wildlife Crossing
With rising demand for new roads and highways, wildlife habitats have been increasingly displaced. In response, wildlife crossings have become necessary to allow animals to safely cross human-made barriers, such as highways, while avoiding collisions with vehicles. Also known as ecoducts, wildlife corridors, or underpasses, these structures are increasingly important in today’s long-term planning of transportation. The Volusia I-4 Wildlife Underpasses, between Daytona Beach and DeLand, was designed to make passage safer for animals and the highway safer for people.