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Ladholz Footbridge, Enstligen River
Enstligen River, Adelbodenstrasse, Ladholz, Berne canton, Switzerland
Ladholz Footbridge, Enstligen River
associated engineer
Robert Maillart
Ingenieurbureau Maillart
date  1931
UK era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  Tk357710
photo  © / CC-BY-SA-3.0 /
Swiss reinforced concrete pioneer Robert Maillart (1872-1940) used his deck-stiffened arch bridge design for a footbridge for the first time at Ladholz, on the Enstligen River below Adelboden, Switzerland. The scheme, though more modest, is similar to his earlier road bridges over the Flienglibach and Schrähbach at Lake Wägital in Schwyz canton.
Ladholz Bridge (Ladholzbrücke) is 28m in length and 2.3m wide overall, with a 2m clear walkway. It is set on stone abutments and spans 26m across the river.
The concrete arch is uniformly 160mm thick and rises 3.4m from springing to soffit. Over the central 9m of the span, arch and deck are joined. On each side, three vertical transverse walls are located in the spandrels to support the deck from the arch, with the first sitting at the arch springing. They are 120mm thick, placed at 2.9m centres.
The whole structure is stiffened by the solid concrete parapets, which are 160mm thick. The combined depth of parapet and deck is 1.2m, giving the bridge a rather top-heavy appearance. The metal guard rails on the approaches stop abruptly at the abutments, where the parapets begin, emphasising a visual discord between bridge and surroundings.
Ladholz Bridge cost 13,000 Swiss Francs to construct. Its concrete still bears the marks of the planked formwork used for its casting — a feature of many Maillart structures. The footbridge is not far from another Maillart structure: the Enstligen Bridge (Spitalbrücke), also completed in 1931, back up the road towards Adelboden.
Contractor: Eugen Losinger & Cie AG of Berne
Research: ECPK
"Robert Maillart: Builder, Designer, and Artist" by David P. Billington, Cambridge University Press, 1997
"Robert Maillart and the art of reinforced concrete" by David P. Billington, Architectural History Foundation, MIT Press, 1990
"Robert Maillart: Bridges and Constructions" by Max Bill, translated by W.P.M.K. Clay, Pall Mall Press, 3rd revised edition, November 1969

Ladholz Footbridge, Enstligen River