Hovenring is the world’s first suspended bicycle path roundabout. Located in the Netherlands (where else?), Hovenring can be found between the localities of Eindhoven, Veldhoven and Meerhoven which accounts for its name, Dutch for “Ring of the Hovens“.
Designed by Ipv Delft, Hovenring comprises of a 70-metre (230 ft) tall central pylon, 24 steel cables and a circular bridge deck made out of circa approximately 1,000 tons of steel. The cables are attached to the inner side of the bridge deck, right where the bridge deck connects to the circular, concrete counter weight. This helps prevent torsion within the 72-metre (236 ft) diameter bridge deck. To further ensure stability, concrete was added to sections of the bridge deck along with M-shaped supports near the approach spans.
Construction started on 11 February 2011 and the new crossing first opened on 30 December 2011 but had to closed shortly thereafter due to unexpected vibrations in the cables caused by wind. After extensive research by structural experts, two types of dampers (high frequency and low frequency) were attached to the cables to resolve the vibration issues. The Hovenring officially reopened to the public on 29 June 2012.
Image Courtesy of IPV Delft / hovenring.com
Hovenring’s primary lighting elements is integrated into the circular deck. The space between counter weight and deck is fitted with aluminum lamellas, translucent sheeting and tube lighting, which results in a clearly visible ring of light at night. Together with the illuminated pylon, the ring of light ensures the bridge’s impressive appearance at night.
Functional lighting is also integrated into the railing, where LED-lighting illuminates the bridge deck, ensuring facial recognition of the bridge users at the same time. Finally, lights attached to a cable framework in between the pylon and bridge deck and to the inner surface of the circular counterweight illuminate the intersection underneath.