Work has started on building Europe’s longest bridge for bikes – connecting the Groningen town of Winschoten with recreational area Blauwestad.
The 800m cycle and walk way, dubbed the Blauwe Loper, or Blue Carpet, consists of four bridges crossing the Winschoterdiep waterway, the A7 motorway, a nature reserve and the Oldambtmeer lake.
The structure, which will cost around €6m, will be built using sustainable material and will be fitted with solar cells, local authorities said.
Apart from pedestrians and cyclists the bridge will also accommodate bats which can use the led lighting on the bridge to cross from their habitat in a nearby park to their foraging place on the Oldambtmeer. The bridge will also be painted in a ‘bat-friendly colour’, local paper Dagblad van het Noorden said.
The bridge, which locals hope will become a landmark in the province, may end up even longer than planned. ‘We think we can stretch it to a kilometre by connecting it to the Hoofdstraat in Blauwestad,’ project leader Reinder Lanting told the paper.
The bridge is expected to be ready for action by the end of the year.
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