Construction works have initiated in the so-called Blauwe Loper (Blue carpet bridge). The structure will be utilized by cyclists and pedestrians and will link Winschoten, a town in northeastern Netherlands with Blauwestad village.
According to the initial design, the bridge will stretch for 800 meters and will be completed by late 2020. Nevertheless, additional plans to increase its length to 1km are under consideration. "We think we can stretch it to a kilometer by connecting it to the Hoofdstraat in Blauwestad," Reinder Lanting, leader of the project, stated.
The total cost of the endeavor is expected to reach $7.36 million. The bridge will facilitate the connection between Winschoten and Blauwestad village and is considered a beneficial initiative in terms of environmental-friendly infrastructure.
In fact, the overpass consists of four bridge crossings stretching over the Oldambtmeer lake (an artificial lake in the municipality of Oldambt), a canal, a natural reserve and a motorway.
The structure will be made out of wood and will feature LED lights powered by solar cells. The lifespan of the bridge is expected to reach more than 80 years. “This bridge is not going to rot. That is because it is technically well designed. The wood is not pressed together but has a sort of venting system,” Mr. Lanting, said.
An impressive feature of the new structure is that it will guide bats from the natural reserve to the Oldambtmeer lake and back. Artificial lighting provided by the LED lamps can be utilized to navigate bats in a certain route. Moreover, the bridge will be painted in a green, “bat-friendly” color.
Currently, the longest cyclist bridge in Europe is located in the Sölvesborg Bay, Sweden. The structure spans for 756 meters and features impressive LED lights on three large steel arches.
Nevertheless, China has constructed the largest cycling bridge worldwide in the city of Xiamen. The length of the structure is 7.6 km and it can accommodate around 2000 cyclists simultaneously.