movable bridges: integrated & dynamic designs

integrated design approach

When designing a movable bridge, we believe an integrated approach is essential as it ensures the end result will be a bridge that not only looks appealing, but also functions optimally. In addition, an integrated approach right from the start prevents nasty surprises later on in the process, such as extra costs due to adjustments.

bridge type

The choice of movable bridge type is largely dictated by both the bridge’s location and the desired appearance. A drawbridge for instance always has one or more vertical elements (towers) that define for a large part what the bridge looks like, whereas a swing bridge usually doesn’t require any significant vertical elements. When a client asks for a statement design, drawbridges and tail bridges offer many opportunities to create interesting shapes for the tower and/or counterweight.

readable design

Over the past 25 years, we have designed plenty of movable bridges. They basically all share our signature slender appearance. Another thing we usually aim for is showing the functionality of the different elements of a bridge, making the bridge’s operating mechanism clear to understand. For instance, the New Witter Bridge in the city of Assen has a counterweight that is located on top of the tower. When the bridge opens, this counterweight disappears into the tower. The Kadoelen Bridge, a modern tail bridge, has a counterweight which glides towards the glistening water when the bridge opens.

total integration

Apart from the operating mechanism, a movable bridge requires several smaller elements that a fixed bridge doesn’t, for instance a raising arm barrier, maritime traffic signs and cameras for remote operation. All these ‘extra’ elements can cause a movable bridge to look like a carnival, which is why we always integrate them into the bridge design. That way, they do not take away from the appearance of the bridge, but are actually part of it. The Dronrijp Bridge illustrates this very well, as does the Willem III bicycle bridge.


A movable bridge requires extensive and complicated tender and building specifications. We decided to develop a system of standard movable bridges called the Dutch Bridge. It offers an all-in-one solution and simplifies and speeds up the initiation process as well as the building process.

more information?

call Chris Wattel:
0031 15 750 25 79