It has only just been installed and will be dismantled again in a few months: the experimental circular viaduct for the River IJsseldelta project. That is precisely the intention. The deck, constructed from 40 modular prefabricated “concrete blocks”, provides extensive monitoring through extensive monitoring during design, engineering, construction and use. Based on that knowledge, the circular viaduct is optimized by a development team. A second, third, fourth or fifth application may be waiting for the prototype. Because that is the underlying idea: reuse as an answer to the circular construction of tomorrow.
Anyone looking at the prefab concrete system for these viaduct girders cannot escape the comparison with Lego bricks. With standard elements you build a construction and if you want something different, you break it down and build something new. The principle is the same: hollow concrete elements of 2.5 m in length, 1.5 m in width and 1 m in height, which are strung together via prestressing to form concrete girders and bridge deck. If the viaduct has lost its function in practice or if the viaduct has to be replaced by a larger or heavier one, the foundation, abutments, piers and bridge deck can be dismantled and reused elsewhere.
“If you see that we have assumed a technical lifespan of 200 years for these concrete elements and that the average practical lifespan of viaducts in the Netherlands is often 30 to 50 years, we can use the elements about 4 to 6 times,” calculates Kees Quartel, former Head of Sales of Consolis Spanbeton, co-initiator of the circular viaduct together with Van Hattum en Blankevoort and Rijkswaterstaat. “This high-quality reuse represents a high step on the ladder of circular construction. Even better are steps such as abandoning construction or limiting construction to a minimum, but these steps are usually not realistic for infrastructure issues in the Netherlands. With this development we can speak of the first circular viaduct in the Netherlands. ”