bicycle and pedestrian path
|Crossing of||Nieuwe Maas|
Truss bridge (old building),
cable-stayed bridge (new building)
|overall length||327.20 m (old building),
356 m (new building)
|width||19 m (old building),
34.20 m (new building)
|Longest span||3 × 90.20 m (east),
270 m (new building)
|completion||1878 (old bridge),
1981 (new construction)
The Willemsbrücke ( Dutch Willemsbrug ) is next to the Erasmusbrug and the Van Brienenoordbrug one of the three major bridges in Rotterdam that cross the Nieuwe Maas . It is a 356 meter long cable-stayed bridge standing on two large pylons . It connects the center of the city with the island of Noordereiland, while on the other side the small Koninginnebrug connects the island with the districts of Kop van Zuid and Feijenoord . For a long time it was known as the “ Golden Gate Bridge of Rotterdam”, which was due both to its red color and to the fact that it was the last bridge before the estuary until the Erasmusbrug was built. The structure is located at the Rhine- kilometer 999.75 and kilometer 10.40 of the Dutch waterway 102 (Nieuwe Maas - Nieuwe Waterweg - Maasmond), which ends at kilometer 46.17 in the North Sea .
The original Willemsbrug was completed in 1878 and named after the then reigning King Willem III. named. Remnants of this bridge can still be seen in the Nieuwe Maas.
The second Willemsbrug was the scene of bitter fighting between the Germans and the Dutch during World War II , who tried with all their might to defend the Willemsbrug and the nearby railway bridge De Hef (now closed). This bridge was decommissioned in 1983, shortly after the inauguration of the current version, and was later demolished.
Today's second version by C. Veerling was inaugurated in 1981. It is also called "Nieuwe Willemsbrug". Nowadays the Willemsbrug no longer plays the dominant role as it did in its early days, after it was relieved by the Maastunnel (1942), the Benelux tunnel (1967) and the Erasmus bridge (1996); nevertheless it is still one of the most important elements in Rotterdam's road traffic.
On July 1, 2020, the bridge was damaged when the German container ship Rhenus collided with the bridge.