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The longest bike bridge in Europe
The longest bike bridge in Europe

They don’t do things by halve in the Netherlands, especially when it comes to bike infrastructure.

There was a new developing suburb that required connecting up to the bike network, but there was a canal, freeway, lake and nature reserve in the way.

In most parts of the world that would result in a resigned sake of the head: all too hard.

But in the Netherlands: Simple, lets build an 800 metre bridge!

For a neat $10M the towns of Winschoten to Blauwestad are now connected by a 3.5m wide walking and cycling bridge known as the Blauwe Loper — or Blue Carpet — bridge.

Children can now get to their schools by a much shorter and safer route, and the new suburb is expecting an up-kick in new home construction.

The bridge took 11 months to erect and surprisingly is basically a wooden structure.

The wood, which is from a long lasting (80 years) sustainable African tree species, sits on concrete foundations and is tensioned with steel rods.

Because of the long length of the structure, the gradients to get up and on to it are a mild 2.5%.

The bridge is lit by solar lights on the deck so as not to disturb nocturnal animals in there nature reserve.

See a video from the planning phase below:

 

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.