Building bridges

In Lillehammer, Norway, the local council has closed an old, historic road bridge to traffic and converted it into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge.

Norway – the land of a thousand fjords. The small town of Lillehammer, the venue of the XVII Olympic Winter Games in 1994, is located some 180 km north of Oslo at the northern shore of Lake Mjøsa. When the local municipal council decided to close a historic road bridge for vehicle traffic and turn it into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, the community was delighted. Read more to find out which role DEGAROUTE® played in the project.

The combined pedestrian and bike path on the so-called “Vingnesbrua” reflects the environmental awareness of the community and the desire for cleaner air. The original idea was to encourage people to bike or walk downtown instead of driving. However, the transformation of the bridge not only added a significant piece to the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure of Lillehammer, it also offered experiential value.

A bridge as an experiential venue

In February 1994, the world’s eyes were on a small town in Norway, when Lillehammer conjured up a legendary winter fairytale by hosting the Olympic Winter Games. The “Vingnesbrua," a bridge built in 1934 with a length of 816 meters, is a local landmark that connects Lillehammer to the Vingnes neighborhood across Lake Mjøsa.

Following the construction of a new overpass over Lake Mjøsa as part of European Highway 6, the Lillehammer municipal council decided to close the bridge for motor vehicle traffic in 2017. Today, it serves pedestrians and bicyclists as an environmentally friendly and safe connection between Lillehammer and Vingnes.

The “new” bridge offers experiential value for users as well: In addition to the separator markings for the pedestrian and bike path, colorfully striped areas, which are decorated with benches and flower boxes in the summer, create space for social activities such as small markets and exhibitions – a perfect opportunity for using durable cold plastic road markings based on DEGAROUTE®.

Cold plastic ensures durability

DEGAROUTE®-based cold plastic road markings offer excellent durability and are ideally suited for pedestrian crossings, bus and bicycle routes, parking lots and other areas requiring high slip-resistance. To create a permanent grip that would significantly reduce the risk of slipping in rainy, snowy and icy conditions, the aluminum ore bauxite was mixed into the finished DEGAROUTE® formulation. Friction tests have confirmed the high anti-slip effectiveness of this compound.

Various color pigments were added to the DEGAROUTE® formulation to create optical highlights.

They guarantee optimal color stability for many years and give the bridge a richly hued, vibrant design. The cold plastic was applied to the bridge decking in a single-layer system with a total thickness of 2 to 2.5 mm. It took four days to complete the road marking work on the 816-meter bridge.

Project wins acceptance

In historic terms, Lillehammer residents had always considered the Vingnesbrua a convenient “driving bridge.” Accordingly, there was considerable local opposition to closing the bridge to motor vehicle traffic and to exclusively using it as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Lake Mjøsa. However, after a two-month “trial run,” it was clear that the car-free Vingnesbrua with its colorful markings actually invites open-air exercise. Never before had that many people been seen walking and cycling over the bridge.

Photos: Glis Studio
Photographer: Daniel Nordby

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