Floating houses are a popular topic here, and understandably so. Many of these floating domiciles attempt to fuse terrestrial stability with aquatic versatility. While buildings like these are certainly interesting, they can create interesting questions regarding transportation. After all, if a house can float away and dock someplace else, is it viable to build roads connecting to it?
Waterstudio.NL is addressing this issue by building floating roads to go along with floating houses. They have developed a floating boulevard design for Antwerp, Belgium that will be able to float while bearing the weight of cars. The boulevard, while useful, is not quite as versatile as you might imagine. The road is not designed to detach and reattach wherever it is needed, like a sort of drawbridge that extends from a floating home. Rather, this boulevard drifts upward and downward with the tide and heavy floods to ensure that the road will always be accessible. The road itself will always remain in a fixed location; it can simply be up to 4 feet higher than its resting position.
This road design opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. For one, the roads are innovative and almost necessary for many northeastern European countries, which are losing land to increasing water levels. Architects are designing many houses and structures to withstand rising water levels, so the transportation system logically needs a matching upgrade.
Perhaps the most important opportunity that the floating boulevard represents, however, is an amazing safety measure for areas that are prone to floods. One of the things that make flooding so dangerous is that the high and fast waters cut off roads. With a floating road, those dangers will be reduced or removed entirely, enabling the local population to evacuate and external aid to quickly reach the flooded area. A structure like this is not only convenient and useful, but potentially lifesaving, as well.