Engineering Design Consultants

Copenhagen Swing Bridge

The Lille Langebro pedestrian and cycle swing bridge is one of many opening bridges within Copenhagen. The bridge provides a vital link at quay level between the two misaligned axes of Voldgade and Langebrogade and sits just next to the iconic Langebro road bridge. The bridge design was the winning entry into an international design competition. The design team consisted of structural engineers Buro Happold, architects Wilkinson Eyre, civil engineers Niras and local landscape architects Urban Agency. Eadon Consulting provided the detailed concept design and specification for the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic operating equipment used to make the bridge move.

The double swing bridge is curved in plan and slender in side elevation with doubly curved steel triangular edge beams or wings. The wings twist up from a shallow triangle at quay side to a taller triangle at the centre. In the closed position the navigation height is 5.4m and when rotated a 35m wide unrestricted height channel is available.

The two moving spans sit on top of slewing bearings each with integral gear teeth. The moving spans are rotated by multiple electric motors and are controlled from the existing control building of the Langebro Bridge. This affords a direct line of sight of both those on the bridge and those wanting to pass on the water.

A key area of innovation on this project is the mechanism at the centre of the bridge where the two moving spans meet. In order to achieve the required navigational height in the closed position and a shallow structure to give great views from the centre, the deck structure needed to be able to carry moment across the joint. To achieve this a mechanical moment connection was developed using existing technology but employed in a new and innovative way. The moment connection in each of the two side beams consists of two hydraulic cylinders, the upper one pushes and the lower one pulls to generate a preload. As the bridge expands and contracts the moment connection expands and contracts with it without adjusting the preload. As the live (pedestrian and cycle) load increases and decreases the preload increased and decreases with it. All of this is achieved as a passive system which is activated when the bridge returns to the closed position but does not require active adjustment once closed.

For more information regarding our movable bridge design services or to discuss your bridge or footbridge requirements, please telephone 0114 399 0400 or email us.

Key Facts
  • Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Working With:
    Buro Happold, Wilkinson Eyre, Niras