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The curves of Europe’s longest cycle bridge are made from XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel

The curves of Europe’s longest cycle bridge are made from XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel.  

A new cycle and pedestrian bridge is being built in Esch, the 2022 European capital of culture and Luxembourg’s second city. This project is part of the overall development of the national cycling network, which includes linking Esch to Luxembourg City.

The carbon footprint of the whole project was a key element for the public authorities, from the choice of the route to the materials used to make it. Steel is unique in its infinite recyclability, and with ArcelorMittal’s XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel, it has very low embodied carbon – approximately 300kg of CO2 per tonne of finished steel when made from 100% scrap and using renewable electricity. All these elements contributed to the selection of our steel for this project. However, our technical expertise was also requested to shape the curves of the bridge.

Engineer Pierpaolo Rossetto, Order Manager of Cimolai, ArcelorMittal’s client for the pedestrian bridge project, said: “At Cimolai, as a global operator in design, supply and erection of complex steel structures, we have a role to play in decarbonising the construction market. By purchasing XCarb® recycled and renewably produced beams, we could both follow our company’s vision of decarbonised construction works, and meet the needs of our customers who are also increasingly keen to do their bit to make our world more sustainable for the next generations.”

A successful trial for our very technical double-curved T-Sections.

The more complex an order, the more time it takes to ensure the quality of the steel – and the requirement for double curved T spliced sections presented some technical challenges. After the production trial at the end of 2021, the sample was tested by Cimolai against stringent technical criteria and approved at the end of the process.

In mid-January, our customer gave their green light for production to start, and in the coming weeks, the curved beams left our mill in Differdange, before taking their place in Europe’s longest cycle bridge.


© Administration des ponts et chaussées Luxembourg

The order is made up of three lots of steel products, some topped with impressive fabrication work. However, every single tonne of steel has been requested – and will be delivered – in our innovative range of Arcorox® weathering steel, with the low CO2 emissions of XCarb® recycled and renewably produced label.

Arcorox® and XCarb®: the perfect, sustainable match

When designed with Arcorox® weathering steel together with XCarb® recycled and renewably produced, a bridge meets all cost, design and strength requirements, while achieving tomorrow’s most stringent embodied carbon and safety targets.

A bridge with Arcorox® sections is designed to last: no need for a protective coating now or in the future: maintenance is low, safety and usage remain high.

A bridge with XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel is sustainable: to produce it, ArcelorMittal uses up to 100 percent scrap and electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power. Its carbon footprint as low as 0.3 tonnes of CO2e per tonne of steel product when using 100% scrap, is supported by a published environmental product declaration.

Three lots, from beams to double curved T spliced sections

A bridge of this size (1.2 km long, 4,5m wide, at 7,5m from ground) has to adapt to its environment and to fit in the existing landscape. So do the steel elements that are part of the project.

Basic elements in small sizes, like IPE200 and IPE600, will be ArcelorMittal’s most used beams on the project. They will be delivered from Belval and Differdange mills, to be used for the deck elements of the bridge. This part of the order has already been delivered to the customer.

Adding more technicity are 340 tonnes of HL1100 beams. They will be used as longitudinal elements of the bridge, in its straight segments. For the pedestrian bridge in Esch, these HL1100 sections will additionally be cut into T-sections at the Steligence® fabrication centre.