Ponting’s design competition entry for a new footbridge across the Island of Maribor at all entries exhibition

All the entries can be seen in the exhibition ‘New footbridge over Maribor Island’, held at the Razstavišče Urban in Maribor from 6-17 March 2023. The competition was hosted by the Municipality of Maribor in cooperation with the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia and the Slovenian Chamber of Engineers. The jury of the competition awarded the proposal of Ponting Bridges with a second prize (equal). First prize was not awarded.

Ponting’s design proposal would be the longest of its kind in the world. The design of the 312-meter long curved monocable suspension footbridge shows respect to both the protected natural environment and a nearby cultural heritage monument, and provides a landmark crossing with a safe and effective structure.

The literally circular promenade provides a continuous and safe traffic connection for cyclists and pedestrians, and its soft curves appeal to the naturally formed river banks. With the curve, we extend the connection, thereby reducing the ascent due to the different height levels of entry on both banks and making it easier to climb and descend. Since the accesses do not have rectangular crossings, it enables a safer and more comfortable path for cyclists, which also improves the safety of pedestrians on a mixed traffic surface.

The 4-metre wide crossing over the Drava River and the natural island in the middle of it provide exceptional views of the Natura 2000 site with its protected natural habitat on one side, and a hydropower plant Mariborski otok, a cultural heritage site on the other. To reduce the impact on the animals and plants on the island further, the walking surface of the bridge runs past the island, over the river. Despite the record span, a bold spatial design solution ensures comfortable use.

The rigid triangular shaped pylon would touch only the cape of the Island of Maribor, thus preserving nature on the island to the greatest extent possible. At the same time, we get a uniquely recognizable silhouette of a curved suspension bridge. The new record-breaking and attractive bridge would not only connect the two banks, but, due to its appearance in an exceptional natural and cultural location, would create additional value to the city of Maribor.

»In the soft curves of the riverbank along Drava, we wanted to place a structure that would continue the path without additional intervention in nature. We did this with a single point of intervention on the cape of the island, and with minimal intervention on both banks. The different surfaces provide segregation between bridge users: the path for pedestrians will be arranged on a wooden surface to connect people with nature, and for cyclists on the epoxy anti-slip deck coating, providing safety and comfort to bicyclists,« said Dr. Viktor Markelj, partner and director at Ponting Bridges.

Project details: Huzarska brv

Event details:
  • Date and time: 6. March 2023 until 17. March 2023, workdays between 9:00 and 15:00, Wednesdays between 9:00 and 17:00.
  • Where: Razstavišče Urban, Grajska ulica 7, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia