ROTTERDAM - Queen Beatrix has officially inaugurated the new Erasmus Bridge in the center of Rotterdam. In the middle of the bridge she tied two green and white ribbons together. Green and White are the colors of Rotterdam.

The Queen was accompanied by Minister Dijkstal of the Interior and Mayor Peper of Rotterdam. “Rotterdam and the people of Rotterdam have been brought together forever by the Erasmus Bridge”, Pepper informed the journalists present.

Peper is extremely pleased with the new connection between the Kop van Zuid and the Leuvehaven. He compared the elegance of the new bridge to that of Marlène Dietrich.

The opening of the bridge is the highlight of the World Port Days. Wibi Soerjadi played a specially composed Erasmus suite. A special Boeing also flew 767 over the new bridge. Tram conductor Kees van der Stel was honored to be the first to take a ride across the bridge. The queen was one of the passengers.

Traffic will have to be patient for a while, before they can use the bridge. The first vehicles will not be allowed to cross the bridge until next Monday. In the meantime, a film will be shown on the movable bridge deck, there is a dance party on the bridge and there is a lantern parade.

The entire party will cost the municipality three million guilders. It should push the debacle surrounding the failed celebration year Rotterdam-650 a bit into oblivion.

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The connection between the center of was first drawn into the plans of the municipality nine years ago. Back then there was already a bridge with one pylon between the Kop van Zuid and the center.

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Maarten Struijs came up with the first design, that such a 325 million guilders. Three years later, architects Ben van Berkel and Wim Quist were involved in the project, who started designing. The design of Van Berkel, a cable-stayed bridge with a buckled pylon, got a lot of acclaim, but was with 365 million guilders a lot more expensive.

Struijs then expressed his criticism of colleague Van Berkel's design in the media. In an interview in the Volkskracht, Struijs said that the Van Berkel design would resemble the Alamillo Bridge in Seville too much.

Nevertheless, the Rotterdam city council decided to end 1991 for Van Berkel's design.

The bridge was built in Vlissingen. Four years later, the pylon was shipped to Rotterdam. The road surface was already largely there.

The bridge is eight hundred meters long and has a movable part that 89 meters long. The pylon is 139 metre high. Due to its broken shape, the bridge soon got the nickname 'the Swan' from the Rotterdammers.

Hoe ging het verder?

The bridge turned out to have some teething problems. Less than two months later, the bridge closed, because the bridge started to swing at force six. It earned the bridge the less rosy nickname 'Parkingson Bridge'. During the next Dance Parade, the music on the bridge had to be softer, to limit the vibrations.

The vibrations were caused in rainy weather. The wind had an influence on raindrops that were on the cables. In 1997 special dampers were mounted on the tethers.


Newsletter Transport – World Port Days and opening Erasmus Bridge a big party

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