Breidholtsbraut footbridge

Pedestrian, Bridge, Footbridge

A new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting two neighbourhoods in the suburb of Breidholt, Reykjavik, Iceland, was opened in the autumn of 2018. EFLA's role was the detail design of the bridge along with the design of foot- and cycle paths.

About this Project

Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, City of Reykjavík


Reykjavík, Iceland


The project's objective

The new footbridge provides safety and ease of travel for pedestrians and cyclists across Breiðholtsbraut, a busy 4-lane main road in the suburb of Breidholt in Reykjavik. In addition to the detailed design of the bridge, EFLA's role in the project was the design of an upgrade to foot- and cycle paths and the street lighting systems. Site surveying and geotechnical investigations were also included.

The bridge is a post-tensioned concrete girder in four spans, 3-m wide and 86-m long. It was designed in collaboration between EFLA and Studio Granda Architects and has the same configuration as the footbridges at Hringbraut in Reykjavik. The curved alignment of the bridge and the shape of the underside of the concrete girder play on the landscaped surroundings. With the users best interests and comfort in mind, the bridge lands at a considerable distance away from the road.

Design and appearance

The superstructure concrete mix consists of both white cement and light-coloured aggregates in order to achieve a lighter impression.

In order to minimize inspection and maintenance costs, the end abutments of the bridge are supported through a concealed concrete hinge, allowing for thermal-included movements, eliminating the need for bearings and construction joints. The intermediate columns are concrete-filled stainless-steel tubes.

The handrail, stainless-steel tubes with a stainless-steel wire mesh between them, is also designed with minimized maintenance costs in mind and to ensure maximum visual span for the users. The design focuses on clear connections, free from clutter. The rail was embedded into the concrete deck post-casting, using a carefully planned core drilling procedure. EFLA was also responsible for construction management, which went well.

Breiðholtsbraut - Reykjavík - Footbridge

Environmental issues

The superstructure of the bridge is made of post-tensioned concrete. Post-tensioned structures are among the leanest concrete structures that are practically available, so the choice of such a construction has a positive effect on the bridge appearance and at the same time minimizes the carbon footprint of the structure. The overall design of the bridge aims to minimize maintenance costs.

  • Post-tensioned structures remain in a compressive state, so that ingress of deteriorating contaminants is inhibited
  • Design without bearings and construction joints minimizes maintenance at the end abutments
  • Stainless steel as chosen for the handrail and the columns does not require repainting

EFLA's role

  • Detailed design of the bridge
  • Design of foot- and cycle paths
  • Design of street lighting systems
  • Construction management
  • Site investigation

The project's long term benefits

The bridge forms an essential part of the foot- and cycleways network in this part of Reykjavík and highly improves safety and ease of travel for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge has been extensively used since opening in the Autumn of 2018.


EFLA sá um verkfræðihönnun BreiðholtsbrúarBreidholtsbraut bridge is a design by EFLA and Studio Granda architects

EFLA sá um verkfræðihönnun BreiðholtsbrúarThe handrail consists of stainless-steel tubes and a stainless wire mesh

EFLA sá um verkfræðihönnun BreiðholtsbrúarThe curved alignment of the bridge and the shape of the concrete girder fits well into the landscaped surroundings

EFLA sá um verkfræðihönnun BreiðholtsbrúarConstruction works