The capacity of watercourses in many parts of the Netherlands is being increased to prevent flooding. A sharp bend in the river Waal near Nijmegen was constricting the flow, so the dyke was moved 350 m outwards. This created the space for a secondary channel and formed an elongated island. The main access to the island is provided by the De Lentloper Bridge, which carries mainly pedestrians and cyclists, but also some cars. The municipal authorities had requested a bridge that did not simply provide a connection: it should also act as a local attraction with spatial features above and below the bridge deck.

Ney-Poulissen ­Architects & Engineers drew up a preliminary design in 2011 that formed the basis for a design, build & maintain tender. The final architectural and structural engineering design, ­including the details, was completed by Ney-Poulissen working closely with the main contractor. This ensured that full consideration was given not only to construction methods and details but also the construction programme and future maintenance.

Different levels on the bridge separate vehicles from pedestrians. The central carriageway rises towards the middle of the bridge, while the foot- and cycleways at the sides become lower towards the middle of the bridge. Transversely sloping surfaces connect the levels. This forms an omega-shaped cross section that varies along the length of the bridge. With two transverse connecting platforms ­under the carriageway to allow cyclists and pedestrians to change sides, the De Lentloper Bridge represents a new, extraordinary type of bridge.