In the media



The Melkvonder – Hoge Brug, a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists that connects Ulft and Silvolde in the Dutch Achterhoek, was in dire need of replacement. Its renewal offered the municipality of  Oude  IJsselstreek the opportunity to do something special and put the area on the map in terms of sustainability, underlining the importance the municipality places on circularity. It organized an open call for the design of a bridge made of reusable materials.

One of the participants was Dusseldorp Infra, Sloop & Milieutechniek, which recycles demolition materials for high-quality reuse. They saw the call as a wonderful opportunity to put their theories into practice. The company invited Mothership’s Jeroen Everaert to share his thoughts on the matter. Together they established that there was no reason to postpone working circularly until the next bridge was to be built and that it was possible to start working from the given premises right away. They subsequently developed a proposal to build a new bridge using the old one, supplemented with sustainably produced materials, preferably sourced locally and – entirely in accordance with Mothership’s principles

– bearing a connection to the history of the location.



Sustainable Recycling


After research, Mothership emphasized that to connect to the history of the location, the new bridge would have to be made of iron rather than wood. Traditionally, a lot of iron ore was found in the area around Ulft. That’s how the new bridge got its name: Oerbrug (which means primal bridge in Dutch).

The loadbearing structure of the new bridge includes the steel of the old one. Other materials readily available in the Ulft area were also used, including the iron left over after the demolition of a former factory and the metal from a high-voltage pylon that used to stand next to the bridge and had been demolished the year before. The latter was used to build the bridge’s railings, among other things.

The design also includes a platform overlooking the Oude IJssel River, a beautiful vantage point that is part of the bridge deck. The pedestrian deck is made of pine wood that has a guaranteed lifespan of 60 years thanks to a new,environmentally friendly preservation technique (Accoya- modified wood).To compensate the use of this wood, Dusseldorp planted new trees in a nearby forest; these can be harvested in 28 years’ time to build a new bridge deck.

In addition, a material passport was created that can be used during the future reuse of (parts of) the bridge.





The Oerbrug is the first  bridge  in  the  area  around  the  Oude  IJssel River that’s been  developed  circularly. It  embodies  the  history  of  Ulft, is a calling card for the municipality’s ambitions, stimulates the local economy and is also beautiful.

The project has been hailed with great enthusiasm by the client and the project partners and is widely supported. Besides Dusseldorp and Mothership, other local experts were involved, including Eeftink Rensing and Royal HaskoningDHV. The result was a partnership that involved technology, circular vision and artistic expertise. This produced an excellent result: an icon to be proud of, one that combines the old and the new, connects two villages circularly and builds a bridge to the future. A typical Mothership design!