The design of the new City Bridge in Drammen, Norway has been formally approved by the client, City of Drammen (Drammen Kommune). The 280m long crossing, co-designed by Knight Architects (UK), Saaha (NO), structural engineers Degree of Freedom (NO) and landscape architect Asplan Viak (NO) will replace an 84-year-old road bridge across the river Drammenselva and the local rail station, becoming a vital link within the city’s infrastructure network.
The landmark bridge project is a key element in the city’s successful redevelopment programme, turning a former industrial enclave into a modern city with high living standards.
The new City Bridge starts at the station square in Strømsø, the southern part of the city, crossing the newly redeveloped Drammen Rail station, including four platforms and six rail tracks, before stepping over the 150m wide Drammenselva river and tying into the central public square of Bragernes, on the north side of the city. Six stair ramps will provide access to the platforms of the station and to the promenade along the south shore.
The width of the bridge will be increased from the current 15m to 19.4 m, providing ample space for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of the road deck. The central carriageway has been designed exclusively for public transport.
The central element of the bridge, the main river crossing, will be a pair of low lying, shallow steel arches spanning 85m across the river, leaping dramatically between two narrow piers located close to the river shores. This distinctive shape will be emblematic for the city of Drammen.
At both ends of the bridge, significant consideration has been taken to provide a seamless transition between the deck and the local pedestrian and cycle routes. This includes a terraced plaza stretching along the north riverbanks on Bragernes allowing easy access to the bankside promenade crossing underneath the bridge. The promenade on the south bank, providing fishing spots and mooring for small boats, will be accessed from the bridge via a bespoke lift.
Being the pivotal link for commuters and leisure pedestrians alike, great attention has been given to the detailing of the crossing. High quality finishes including granite paving and Accoya handrails will be accompanied by bespoke furniture including benches and flag poles. Carefully designed lighting (by Light Bureau) will ensure user safety at night and illuminate the striking bridge silhouette.
The development is a joint operation by the City of Drammen (Drammen Kommune) and the Norwegian rail authority Bane NOR which is carried out in two separate lots. Detailed design stage of the bridge will finish in March 2021 and the construction tender will be announced before summer 2021.
Construction works, including the demolition of the existing bridge and the erection of a temporary crossing, will start in 2022. The opening of the new City Bridge is scheduled for 2025.