De Hef is a green-coloured, vertical-lift railway bridge that has been decommissioned. Today this object is one of Rotterdam's most outstanding monumental. It was designed by Pieter Joosting (1927). It once connected the railway tracks on the island Noordereiland with the tracks on the southern embankment, from where trains continued towards Dordrecht and Breda.
Almost all people refer to the bridge as De Hef. That is why we chose to use this name on the website. But, what many people don’t know is that the original name is Koningshavenbrug. This name refers to the waterway that the bridge overspans.
In 1996 the new railway tunnel ‘Willemspoortunnel’ made the bridge superfluous. The tunnel was an improvement for passengers, as the trains could run more frequent. The timetable was no longer impacted by ships that had to pass.
De Hef is best known for its 'span', the middle part of the bridge. Nowadays the span is always at the top, as the bridge is not in use anymore and ships have to pass. At the end of 2014, the span was temporarily removed for some major maintenance. A long-time it was uncertain if the span would be placed back, but this was done in 2017.
When you are standing on the bridge Koninginnebrug you will be right in front of De Hef. If time is short, you can see the bridge when standing on Erasmusbrug, but the distance to the object will be about one kilometre.