The encasement of the highway on the outskirts of Zurich marks a significant urban transformation. The project gives an entirely new look to a densely populated residential area in Switzerland's largest city. At the location where strong noise and exhaust emissions have historically impacted daily life, attractive connections for slow traffic and recreational areas for the local population will emerge. At a height of seven meters above the ground, a unique park landscape, inspired by New York's Skyline Park, is being created on the roof of the 940-meter-long noise protection enclosure, connecting various neighborhoods and providing direct access to recreational areas. Along the two greened sidewalls, a four-meter-wide pedestrian and bicycle path runs.
The path to this environmentally impactful mega-project demanded extensive planning expertise. The structure had to be founded on sensitive soil using 30-meter-deep bored piles. Since the noise protection enclosure runs directly above an underground tram line and no forces could be transferred to the tram tunnel, special transverse beams were required to handle high loads.
A significant challenge during construction was the limited space available: neighboring buildings had to be demolished to accommodate installations, construction logistics, and emergency vehicle passages. Except for occasional night closures, both the highway and the underground tram remained open during the construction period from 2019 to 2024.
The Schwamendingen Noise Protection Enclosure stands as an exemplary model of innovative urban planning and engineering prowess. The structure enhances the quality of life for residents while simultaneously sustaining mobility in one of Switzerland's busiest regions. This project shapes the future of Zurich and sets a new standard for urban development, not only in Switzerland.