The Slauerhoffbrug (or Slauerhoff Bridge) is a fully automatic bascule bridge in the city of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, sometimes called a “tail bridge”. Also affectionately called the “Flying Drawbridge”, it uses two arms to swing a section of road in and out of place within the road, in order to allow water traffic to quickly pass, while stalling the road and bike traffic briefly.
Named after the writer and poet J. Slauerhoff, the underside of the Flying Drawbridge is painted in the colors of the coat of arms and flag of Leeuwarden: blue and yellow.
The Netherlands have loads of canals, which of course means loads of bridges. Each location has a different situation about it, which requires an innovative design to be implemented. Drawbridges have always been interesting to designers and they always look for new ways to get the bikes, cars and boats to cross safely, without interfering with each other.
The Slauerhoff Bridge was designed and built by a company called Van Driel Mechatronica in 2000 over the Harlinger Vaart River. Seeing how the Netherlands have very frequent traffic on the water, the bridge is raised and lowered around 10 times a day. There has to be some serious engineering going on, to have that huge piece of road to hang about the ground like that, but we have to admit, it still looks brilliant!